Blind spots a concern for pedestrian traffic: Drivers reminded to remove parking permits while driving
The West Fargo Police Department has been getting a lot of phone calls and emails from citizens concerned about potential blind spots created by parking permits. North Dakota Century Code 39-21-39 states: Windshield - Must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers - Tinted windows. A motor vehicle must be equipped with a windshield. An individual may not drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows which obstructs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.
According to Officer Pete Nielsen, vehicles can be stopped if there is any type of material deemed as a violation of the Century Code. This includes student or business parking permits and handicap permits.
On the top corner of handicap permits, words in bold capital letters, read: "Important: Remove Before Driving Vehicle." Unfortunately, when the permit hangs on a rear view mirror, the lettering is often obscured by the mirror, and many drivers aren't even aware of the warning. The 3.5 x 9.5 inch placard may create a blind spot big enough to hide children, pedestrians, bicycles, and even motorcycles from a driver's view.
Drivers are reminded to take permits down whenever they are driving and place them on the dash. If stopped, violators will be fined a state fee of $20.
The Police Department is also asking drivers to take extra precautions and to watch for children and pedestrian traffic at intersections now that warmer temperatures are arriving. The speed limit in school zones is 15 miles per hour.
Brightly painted yellow signs and student crosswalks mean students and pedestrian traffic have the right-of-way. Traffic must stop from both directions to let pedestrians cross.
Law enforcement is a community effort. For more information, call Officer Nielsen at 433-5500.