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Insight from WFPD: Warm weather brings out bikes, pedestrians

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opinion Fargo,North Dakota 58102
West Fargo Pioneer
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Insight from WFPD: Warm weather brings out bikes, pedestrians
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

With the return of warm weather, motorists are reminded to be watchful for bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the roadway. Each year area law enforcement and medical responders are dispatched to reports involving someone being struck by a motor vehicle. Frequently the injuries are not serious and require only a limited amount of medical treatment. On rare occasions the extent of injury may require a lengthy hospital stay or result in a death. Drivers must be extra vigilant for someone suddenly appearing on the roadway.


Drivers need to be aware of several West Fargo ordinances:

13-1302. Right-of-Way of Pedestrians When Intersection Is Regulated. No vehicle shall cross a crosswalk where traffic is regulated by a police officer or a system of traffic control signals until pedestrians who have properly commenced to cross the street have completed their passage across in front of such vehicles, and any vehicle permitted to turn to either right or left shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians who are proceeding on crosswalks in a direction authorized by the officer or traffic signal, and failure to yield such right-of-way shall be a violation of this section.

13-1303. Right-of-Way of Pedestrians When an Intersection Is Not Regulated.

1. Where traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield to a pedestrian crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

2. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

3. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake or pass such stopped vehicle.

Pedestrians have responsibilities also.

13-1304. Crossing at Other Than Crosswalks.

1. Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

2. Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

3. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control devices are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

4. No pedestrians shall cross a roadway other than on a crosswalk in any business district in the City of West Fargo.

5. No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.

13-1308. Pedestrians Walking Along Roadways.

1. Where a sidewalk is provided and its use practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along or upon an adjacent roadway.

2. Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along or upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.

3. Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to the outside edge of the roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only the left side of the roadway.

4. Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

Bicyclist share the roadway and the responsibilities to travel safely.

13-1810. Traffic Laws Apply To Persons Riding Bicycle Or Tricycle. Every person riding a bicycle or tricycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state, declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicle or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations in this chapter and exempt as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature have no application.

13-1811. Traffic - Control Devices: Obedience To.

1. Any person operating a bicycle or tricycle shall obey the instructions of the official traffic-control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer;

2. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left or "U" turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle or tricycle shall disobey the direction of any sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle or tricycle to make any such turn, in which event such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

13-1812. Riding On Bicycles.

1. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto;

2. No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number which it is designed or equipped.

13-1813. Riding On Roadways and Bicycle Paths.

1. Every person operating a bicycle or tricycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction;

2. Persons riding bicycles or tricycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or tricycles;

3. Wherever a usable path for bicycles or tricycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle or tricycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

13-1814. Speed. No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

13-1815. Emerging From Alley or Driveway. The operator of a bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building, upon approaching a sidewalk or the pedestrians approaching on said sidewalk or sidewalk area, and upon entering the roadway, shall yield right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on said roadway.

13-1816. Carrying Articles. No person operating a bicycle shall carry a package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars, or carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the forward vision of the operator.

13-1817. Parking. No person shall park a bicycle upon a street other than upon the roadway against the curb or upon the sidewalk in a rack to support the bicycle or against a building or at the curb, in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

13-1818. Riding on Sidewalks.

1. No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district;

2. No person 12 or more years of age shall ride any bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, except those persons engaged in delivering newspapers and except those persons who are riding with a child under 12 years of age for the purpose of supervision and guidance may ride their bicycle upon a sidewalk outside the business district during working hours only in order to complete delivery of their newspapers;

3. No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk which is within or part of an underpass;

4. Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

We all at times need to share parts of the roadway. On foot, on bike or in a vehicle, be vigilant and watch out for the other guy.