Traffic laws apply to skateboarders just as they do to bicyclists. If you are skateboarding, you must follow the rules below:
How to ride
- In a standing position
- On the right-hand side, so you are close to the curb or edge of the roadway
- In a single file
- With care, in a manner that would likely not endanger another person or property
Interaction with vehicles and pedestrians
- Obey traffic control devices, including signs and signals
- Use hand and arm signals before stopping or making turns
- Give an audible warning before passing a pedestrian
- Reduce your speed when you approach a crosswalk, street, or driveway - not greater than an average walking speed
- Use the crosswalk if your route requires you to cross lanes of traffic
- Yield to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians when you cross a street or approach a driveway
- Racing, except within specific parks
- Holding on to a motor vehicle while skateboarding
If you are found breaking one of these rules, you may be fined up to $110. You can access all of the City's skateboarding rules in Salem Revised Code,
Chapter 103 .
Helmet laws and information
If you are under the age of 16, you must wear a helmet while skateboarding. Failure to do so can result in a $25 fine. While helmets are not required for those above age 16, it is always a good idea to wear one when skateboarding. The Salem Fire Department has a bicycle helmet program which provides free helmets to children of families in need. The program is funded through donations from private organizations.
Always be aware of the conditions around you and watch for the potential actions of others in the roadway. Be aware of vehicles waiting at stop signs, moving in and out of the roadway, and pulling into parking spots. Watch for turn signals and never pass a vehicle on the right when approaching an intersection. Ride without swerving or weaving to stay in control and so others can better anticipate your movements. To stay alert to your surroundings, put away your phone and do not use ear buds. You should not set up obstacles, such as cones, ramps, or trash cans, on the sidewalk or in the roadway for use with your skateboard. It is a good idea to wear protective equipment, such as helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards and to inspect your skateboard to ensure it is in proper working order before riding.
Skateboarding at night
Visibility at night is important whether you are walking, biking, or skateboarding. You must be equipped with lights or safety clothing that meets one of the following standards:
- A white light in front that is visible from at least 500 feet and a red light or reflector in back that is visible from at least 600 feet.
- A high-visibility garment or safety vest that meets ANSI 107-2015 Class 2 or Class 3 standards. There should be clear markings in the description or on the tags of garments that meet these standards.