Hi; I know this is an old thread, and I love the photos! The Seaside area is a good place to drive on the beach :-). BUT... Just a quick FYI for people who aren't from Oregon, and may not be aware that the beaches are no longer a public highway, here, effective 1967, when the Beach Bill was enacted to replace the 1913 law that made everything from the extreme low tide to the high tide marks a highway.
Oregon beaches from the Washington border to the California Border are no longer a continuous highway for vehicular traffic.
From Oregon.gov's pages: "Under the Beach Bill enacted in 1967, the public has free and uninterrupted use of the beaches along Oregon´s 362 mile-long coastline. The Beach Bill also directed that the ocean shore be administered as a state recreation area. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is charged with the protection and preservation of the recreation, scenic, and natural resource values found on Oregon´s ocean shore."
In addition, you can only drive where it's posted as "allowed" or in certain areas where otherwise not allowed, if you have the proper permit. In other words, the entirety of the Oregon coast beaches is no longer a highway. That was how we originally protected our beaches as a public resource. It was changed in '67 to make it all public land, but not a highway unless vehicular traffic is specifically allowed. If you want to read the LONG parts that apply to non-atv motor vehicles, I have copied and pasted it, here. If you want to know whether a certain portion of beach is open for motor vehicle traffic, you're best off checking county by county in the desired area. Division 24 lays out the rules county by county, when you want to know where it's legal to drive. For instance, here in Lincoln County, there are only 2 access points where you're allowed onto the beach at all in a motor vehicle, and they're only for a few yards in either side of the access point, and they're within a mile of each other in Lincoln City, and nowhere else ....
"736-021-0060 Motor Vehicles and Other Motorized Devices
(1) A person operating a motorized vehicle or device on the ocean shore state recreation area must
(a) Observe all posted signs, including signs that prohibit the operation of motorized vehicles or devices; and
(b) Restrict speed and manner of operation to reasonable and prudent practice, considering the terrain, prevailing conditions, equipment, personal capabilities, personal safety and the safety of all other ocean shore state recreation area users, natural resources, and wildlife.
(2) A person operating a motorized vehicle or device on the ocean shore state recreation area may not
(a) Disturb or harass wildlife or other natural resources, or
(b) Block access, use, or the safe and uninterrupted passage of others on the ocean shore state recreation area.
Motor Vehicle Provisions
(3) A person may not use a motor vehicle
as defined in ORS 825.005(6) on any area of the ocean shore state recreation area unless the department had posted the area as open
. A person may use a motor vehicle on a closed area only pursuant to a permit issued by the department.
(4) On an area of the ocean shore state recreation area that the department has posted as open to motor vehicle use, a person may only operate a motor vehicle that is registered to operate on public highways and roads.
(5) On the ocean shore state recreation area fronting the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Sand Lake Recreation Area, a person may use an ATV or OHV provided that the vehicles is equipped with at least the minimum safety equipment as specified in OAR 735-116-0000.
(6) A person may not operate a Class I ATV on the ocean shore state recreation area, except:
(a) If the person obtains an Ocean Shores ATV Operating Permit from the department as provided in OAR 736-004-0062.
(b) On the ocean shore state recreation area fronting the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Sand Lake Recreation Area. A person may operate a Class I ATV registered in a state other than Oregon under this subsection.
(7) Unless otherwise posted, a person may not operate motorized vehicles or devices within the ocean shore state recreation area at speeds in excess of 25 mph in open sections and 10 mph in closed sections.
(8) A person operating a motorized vehicle or device must comply with regulatory signs in the ocean shore state recreation area. All provisions of motor vehicle laws of the State of Oregon are applicable and enforceable.
The department may have a motorized vehicle or device towed at the owner’s expense if left unattended for more than 24 hours or immediately if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
(a) Blocks or restricts a beach access,
(b) Is owned by a person who has been excluded or who is in violation of criminal trespass, or
(c) Poses harm to the beach environment or ocean shore resources, creates a hazard to humans or wildlife, is a nuisance or may become a navigational hazard if washed out to sea.
(10) Vehicle operators must have a valid driver's license in their possession
, except at ocean shore state recreation area adjacent to Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Sand Lake Recreation Area that are open to ATV use.
(11) A person whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked may not operate any vehicle on the ocean shore recreation area
, including at ocean shore state recreation areas adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and at Sand Lake Recreation Area.
(12) A person may not use any vehicle in western snowy plover-management areas as provided in OAR 736-021-0090."
I know. Long-winded. I just thought this might be of interest to those who aren't familiar with the laws governing the use of motor vehicles on Oregon beaches. Some people may erroneously think that the entire stretch is open highway. It isn't.... Here's the link to the Oregon.gov page, in case you really want to spend a couple hours reading the entire thing! LOL!