7 North Dakota Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Drivers in North Dakota often forget about important traffic laws like not texting or cutting off another vehicle when passing.

North Dakota has enacted traffic laws to help keep all motorists and passengers safe when driving. However, some drivers choose to ignore the rules of the road. This can create a safety hazard for other travelers.

We’ve collected seven of the most commonly ignored traffic laws in North Dakota. Keep reading to find out what they are and what to do to avoid getting a ticket.

Learn more with the following resources:

1. North Dakota Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

In North Dakota, if your pace is slower than the normal flow of traffic, you must move to the right. On multi-lane highways, this means keeping to the right lane. On one-lane roads, you should stay as close to the righthand curb as possible.

Exceptions to this rule exist for passing another vehicle or getting ready to make a left turn.

Any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing must be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn in an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

ND Code § 39-10-08

2. North Dakota Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

North Dakota has not set a statewide minimum speed. But, if you see a posted sign for a minimum speed, you must obey it. Additionally, the law bans driving so slowly that you impede regular traffic.

No matter what, you can always slow down for safety or to comply with the law.

An individual may not drive a motor vehicle at a reduced speed so as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

If the director and the superintendent of the highway patrol or a local authority determines that slow speeds on any highway or part of a highway impede the safe, normal, and reasonable movement of traffic, the director and superintendent or the local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which an individual may not drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

ND Code § 39-09-09

3. North Dakota Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

North Dakota law requires you to pass other vehicles on the left. You also need to leave a safe distance between yourself and the other car. Make sure to avoid cutting off the other driver when moving back to the right.

If the pass requires you to enter lanes of oncoming traffic, you must safely complete the pass before coming within 200 feet of any vehicles headed in the opposite direction.

If you are the driver of a vehicle being passed, you cannot speed up until the other vehicle has completely overtaken your car. You should give way to the passing vehicle once they signal their intent to pass.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and may not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and may not increase the speed of that driver’s vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

ND Code § 39-10-11

No vehicle may be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable, and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet [60.96 meters] of any approaching vehicle.

ND Code § 39-10-13

4. North Dakota Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

The North Dakota traffic code prohibits following another vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent.” Consider factors such as the weather, pace of traffic, and speed of the other car when determining what an appropriate amount of space is.

The driver of a motor vehicle may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

ND Code § 39-10-18

5. North Dakota Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

It is against the law to read and send messages while driving on North Dakota roads. If you are under 18, you also cannot use a phone to make calls while driving.

There are exceptions to the no-cell phone rules for reporting an accident, emergency, or hazard, preventing a crime, or if you believe someone’s life or safety is in danger.

The operator of a motor vehicle that is part of traffic may not use a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message.

This section does not apply if a wireless communications device is used for obtaining emergency assistance to report a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious traffic hazard or to prevent a crime about to be committed, in the reasonable belief that an individual’s life or safety is in immediate danger.

ND Code § 39-08-23

An individual at least sixteen and under eighteen years of age who has been issued a class D license may not operate an electronic communication device to talk, compose, read, or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion unless the sole purpose of operating the device is to obtain emergency assistance, to prevent a crime about to be committed, or in the reasonable belief that an individual’s life or safety is in danger

ND Code § 39-08-24

6. North Dakota Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

When two motorists arrive at a North Dakota intersection at the same time, the driver to the left must yield. The driver to the right has the right to go through the intersection first.

For ‘T’ intersections, the driver on the terminating road must yield. Drivers approaching from either direction on the through-highway have the right-of-way.

If a vehicle approaches or enters an intersection that does not have an official traffic-control device and another vehicle approaches or enters from a different highway at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.

If the intersection is T-shaped and does not have an official traffic-control device, the driver of the vehicle on the terminating street or highway shall yield to the vehicle on the continuing street or highway.

ND Code § 39-10-22

7. North Dakota Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

In North Dakota, you must yield to oncoming traffic when you make a left turn across another lane. If your turn would create a safety hazard, you first must let the other vehicles pass before completing the turn.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.

ND Code § 39-10-23

Following the rules of the road can save you from getting a traffic ticket. It will also lower your chances of causing an accident. Observing North Dakota’s traffic code when you drive helps make the roads safer for all. So, remember these seven traffic laws the next time you get behind the wheel.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>