As temperatures rise, so does pedestrian, bike traffic

Editor Special to Devils Lake Journal

NORTH DAKOTA – The North Dakota Department of Transportation through Vision Zero reminds motorists to be mindful of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists as more people are out enjoying the warmer weather.

“As of July 2, Motorcyclists make up 25% and pedestrians/bicyclists make up 10% of the motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota in 2022. Drivers should be alert and drive free from distraction as more bikers, runners, walkers and motorcyclists are on the road,” said Highway Safety Division Director Karin Mongeon.

Just like motorcyclists, bicyclists are also granted the same rights as a driver. Motorists should be aware that a bicyclist with the right of way on a roadway with two or fewer lanes doesn’t have to stop at the stop sign/light if no other vehicle on the thru street is close enough to constitute a stop. Additionally, motorists should always maintain a three-foot distance from any bicyclist.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are at more risk when involved in a motor vehicle crash as they do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle, or vehicle safety features like seat belts and airbags. Motorists should remain alert for all road users by focusing on the road, sidewalk and crosswalk.

It is vital that all road users recognize a shared responsibility to achieve the goal of Vision Zero, zero fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. 

In North Dakota in 2020, one motorcyclist was involved in a crash nearly every two days, a pedestrian was involved in a crash every four days, while a bicyclist was involved every seven days.

Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at VisionZero.ND.gov or join the conversation on the Vision Zero ND Facebook or Twitter page.