North Dakota Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Overall Traffic Fatality Statistics
In North Dakota, annual traffic fatalities have been decreasing since the year 2012. In 2012, there were 170 overall traffic-related deaths. In 2013, there were 128, and in 2014 there were 135. This statistic went down slightly in 2015, with a total of 131 traffic fatalities.
Bicycle Accident Deaths
In 2012, there were zero cyclist deaths. In 2013, the state had one fatality and then in 2014; there were three fatalities. In 2015, this number went back down to just one death.
The state has laws in place that cyclists in the state must follow. Being aware of these laws will help bicyclists to ride their bikes safely.Follow the Rules of the Road: Bicyclists must follow all of the same rules of the road that motor vehicles must adhere to, for example, signaling for turns.
Carrying Things While Riding a Bike: The state has made it unlawful for a bike rider to carry any item, such as a package or a bundle, with them while riding a bike if it prevents them from being able to keep at least one hand on the handle bars.
Bicycle Equipment: The state requires that all bikes be equipped with brakes that allow the rider to make the wheels skid on dry, level pavement.
Lamps and Reflectors: When riding in the dark, bicyclists must have a lamp on the front of their bike with the ability to emit white light that can be seen from 500 feet away. A red reflector or light must be used that is visible from at least 500 feet away.
Passenger Limit: No bicycle can be used to transport any more riders or passengers than the amount that it is designed to carry.
Bike Seat Requirement: Cyclists must only ride a bike that has a permanent seat attached.
The North Dakota Highway Safety Administration 2016 Highway Safety Plan
The North Dakota Highway Safety Administration launched a plan in 2016 with the goal to reduce overall traffic-related deaths in this state. The program acknowledged that the rise in traffic deaths since 2008 may be due to an increase in the state’s oil production, which has led to population growth.
The safety plan includes increasing the police task force in higher traffic areas to better identify impaired drivers by using more check points, patrolling, and keeping detailed logs of citations given, including when and where. There will also be a campaign to combat distracted driving, and it will include similar plans, such as check points and additional patrolling to better identify these drivers. The North Dakota Highway Safety Administration also plans to incorporate a media campaign corresponding with these enforcement efforts. Ads will run with the phrases “Click it or Ticket,” “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” and “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” The forms of media used include television, billboards, and social media.
This safety program is targeted at reducing all deaths as a result of traffic accidents. The goal of the program that is specific to bicyclists is to maintain the number of bicycle fatalities with a three-year average of one or less.