PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — We’ve all been there: someone is following far too close to you on the highway as you’re driving for comfort.
Is there a way to get them off of your tail with a so-called ‘brake check’?
Unfortunately, it’s a road violation in Oregon — and it could turn out bad for you.
According to Oregon Revised Statute 811.500, an unlawful stop or deceleration is when someone “is operating a vehicle and the person stops or suddenly decreases the speed of the vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal to the driver immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give the signal.”
Essentially, don’t “brake check” someone behind you, but let them get around you by using your turn signals to indicate you’re getting into another lane or turning.
If you were to “brake check,” you could get issued a Class B traffic violation, which could be a maximum fine of $1,000, according to the state.
However, Oregon State Police say the driver tailgating you could also get a Class B traffic violation for Following Too Closely under ORS 811.485, which includes, among other items, when a driver “drives a motor vehicle so as to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.”
“OSP would like to point out that two wrongs don’t make a right,” a state police spokesperson told KOIN 6 News in an email. “Both of these types of driving behaviors are considered ‘aggressive driving.'”
To prevent an aggressive driving situation, state police ask drivers to avoid being distracted, avoid being rushed and to avoid becoming agitated.