North Dakota Rules of the Road (All You Should Know)

North Dakota Rules of the Road

New to driving in North Dakota?

If so, you’re probably not familiar with the different road rules. 

Or maybe you are but need a refresher course. 

Whatever the case, we’re here to tell you all you should know about the North Dakota rules of the road.

Here, we’ll first talk about traffic laws. From there, we’ll mention the rules on how to safely share the road with several vehicles. 

With this, you can be the safest driver out there…

And you’ll also be able to avoid those annoying tickets and fines. 

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away!

North Dakota Traffic Laws

Here is a list of the North Dakota traffic laws that we’ll talk about here:

  • Railroad crossings 
  • Speed limits
  • Parking laws
  • Coasting laws
  • Littering law
  • Crash laws
  • Cell phone law

Let’s take a closer look at each one. 

North Dakota Railroad Crossings

North Dakota Rules of the Road

This law is pretty obvious — you are not allowed to drive through a railroad crossing unless the gate is raised and no trains are approaching. 

If the gates are lowered, it’s illegal to drive under them. If there are no gates and a train is approaching, it’s illegal to try to beat it. 

Remember, trains take a long time before they fully stop. Yes, even when they brake a couple of feet away from you.

North Dakota Speed Limits

In ideal situations, you should always drive within the speed limit posted in the area. However, if there’s rain, snow, or any incident, driving much slower helps reduce the chances of getting into an accident. 

If there is no speed limit posted, you should follow the general speed limits in North Dakota:

  • 20 mph when approaching a railway crossing and your view of the track is obstructed.
  • 20 mph when approaching an intersection and your view is obstructed.
  • 20 mph when you pass by a school during break times or when children are going or leaving the school.
  • 25 mph in business and residential districts.
  • 55 mph on gravel, dirt, loose roads, and paved two-lane highways in towns and counties.
  • 65 mph on paved two-lane rural roads.
  • 70 mph on paved and divided multi-lane highways.
  • 75 mph on rural interstate highways.

North Dakota Parking Laws

In North Dakota, there are several places where it is illegal to park. These are:

  • On a sidewalk and crosswalk.
  • In an intersection.
  • On the entrance to any driveway, fire station, or emergency station.
  • On the wrong side of the road or when your vehicle blocks traffic.
  • In front of a fire hydrant and within 15 feet of a fire station’s driveway.
  • Within 10 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
  • Within 15 feet of a safety zone.
  • Within 30 feet of a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign.
  • On the street side of a parked vehicle (this is also called double parking).
  • On any place where there is a ‘No Parking’ sign.
  • In a designated Handicapped Parking if your vehicle has no ‘Handicapped’ license plate.

North Dakota Coasting Laws

For manual transmissions, it’s illegal to drive with the gears on neutral or with the clutch disengaged on a downgrade. This is also called coasting.

Coasting can lead to accidents since drivers are not fully in control of their vehicles. 

When you keep our clutch engaged, you can easily use your brakes and control your speed. 

North Dakota Littering Law

The North Dakota littering law is simple – it is illegal to litter on any public highway. Violators are subjected to a $500 fine. 

North Dakota Crash Laws

If you are part of a crash that has caused personal injury or damage worth $4,000 or more, here are things you should do: 

  • Immediately report to the local police, Highway Patrol, or the County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Exchange contact information, including insurance company and policy number, with the other party.
  • If the vehicle is unattended, the driver at fault should immediately notify the owner or leave a note on the vehicle. The note should include the driver at fault’s name, number, address, and motor vehicle insurance company.

What’s more, each vehicle registered in North Dakota is required to have the minimum insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage 

You need to keep a copy of the insurance policy in your vehicle at all times. 

Those who operate an uninsured vehicle are fined $150 for the first violation and $300 for the second and subsequent violations. 

North Dakota Cell Phone Law

It’s illegal to read, compose, or send any electronic message while driving. It is also illegal to make or receive calls unless you are reporting an emergency. 

This is considered distracted driving and will lead to a:

  • $100 fine for the first violation
  • $200 fine for the second and subsequent violations

An exception to this law is when your phone is used in a hands-free manner, such as when it is mounted to the vehicle. However, teens below 18 years old do not have this exception. 

North Dakota Road Rules

For this section, we’ll be looking at some North Dakota road rules. In other words, how to share the road with: 

  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Pedestrians
  • Snowmobiles

Let’s get to the details. 

How to Share the Road with Trucks

Trucks, unlike regular vehicles, have blind spots. The larger the truck, the larger the blind spots. 

To be specific, a truck’s blindspot is directly in front, on the front side, and at the back. 

Now, the key to driving safely with trucks is to be seen

Here’s how:

  • Occupy the sides nearer to the back so you are seen on the side mirrors. 
  • If you need to pass, create more space so that your turning lights will be visible to the driver. 
  • If road conditions are slippery or low visibility, increase the following distance from a truck. Trucks take longer to fully stop. 
  • Be alert for the turn signals of trucks. Do not stay close to their side when they are making a turn since they need to occupy two or more lanes. 
  • Never linger on the side of a truck when passing. Pass quickly and don’t move in front of the truck unless you’ve allowed yourself to have a few meters in between you. 

How to Share the Road with Motorcycles

Did you know that motorcyclists are given the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of four-wheeled vehicles? 

Hence, they should also abide by traffic laws and have the right to occupy a lane as if they were a vehicle. 

With that in mind, here’s what to do when driving with motorcyclists:

  • Give them the whole space of the lane. Do not push them to one side when passing. 
  • Give a safe distance so you can better judge if they will change direction. 
  • Signal when you’re passing or turning to allow them to anticipate your move. 
  • Be alert for their flashing turn signals. Some motorcyclists tend to leave this light on even if they’ve already made a turn. 

How to Share the Road with Bicycles

Bicyclists are at a higher risk because they don’t have the stability and heaviness that a motorcycle has. In turn, they can easily topple over. 

If you’re driving alongside a bicyclist, remember these things: 

  • Reduce speed. 
  • Give them space. Do not try to push them to the side of the road. 
  • If you need to pass, create a safe distance first and then give a signal. Make sure that the bicyclist saw your signal. Do not simply speed past the bicyclist. 
  • Look for bicyclists when crossing the intersection or when making a turn. They might be on the side of the road or trying to cross. 
  • Avoid driving on bike lanes. These are specifically to keep bicyclists safe. 

How to Share the Road with Pedestrians

Pedestrians are not spared from traffic laws — but since they’re the most at risk, drivers need to be extra alert for them. 

For drivers, always leave the crosswalk open. Stop right before the horizontal line of a crosswalk. 

For pedestrians, here are some safety precautions: 

  • Do not cross when the “Don’t Walk” signal is on or when the pedestrian sign is red. 
  • Pedestrians should stay on the sidewalk when they are not crossing. Walk facing traffic. 
  • You are not allowed to walk on the road even if you are trying to hitch a ride. 

How to Share the Road with Snowmobiles

Snowmobiles have rules on when and where they can be used. If you ever see a snowmobile on the road, here’s what to do: 

  • Slow down. They may be slower than a regular vehicle, so be patient if you’re right behind them. 
  • If you need to pass, leave some distance and give a signal. Do not expect the snowmobile to increase speed. 
  • Watch for hand signals that the drivers may do. Give them room to maneuver if they have to turn. 


And that was the North Dakota rules of the road. 

Whether you’re a new or experienced driver in the state, these laws and rules are meant to be followed. If so, it will significantly reduce accidents.

And if those aren’t incentives enough, just think about how much money you can save when you’re not being fined for violations! 

So make sure to keep these laws and rules in mind. 

Drive safely!

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