The Dickinson City Commission approved three code updates, pertaining to traffic violations, changes regarding minors in possession and consumption as well as allowing municipal courts to have the ability to convert criminal judgements into civil judgments in district court — which was not allowed before.

The commission met Tuesday, July 20, at City Hall during its regularly scheduled session and unanimously voted to approve chapters 11, 23 and 25 code updates.

“What brought them about is those are changes that are being adopted as a result of the 2021 legislative session, changes to the North Dakota Century Code,” City Attorney Christina Wenko said, explaining, “So the city updates and adopts those changes to be consistent with the laws set forth by the recent legislature.”

Chapter 25, or ordinance 1724, pertains to updates for criminal violations occurring within city limits and also prohibits any individual under 21 years of age to possess tobacco. This ordinance also includes theft violations such as shoplifting.

According to city documents, shoplifting includes:

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  • Removing merchandise from a store or other mercantile establishment without paying for the merchandise

  • Concealing a non-purchased good or merchandise;

  • Altering, transferring or removing a price marking on a good or merchandise;

  • Transferring a good from one container to another; and

  • Causing the amount paid for a good or merchandise to be less than the stated retail price.

The offense was “not charged as a second or subsequent offense theft committed by shoplifting,” city documents state.

Chapter 23, or ordnance 1723, deals with motor vehicles and traffic. One of the main updates to that chapter was incorporating the section “Yielding and stopping while operating a bicycle on a roadway.”

According to city documents, this section update to Chapter 23 states:

  1. An individual operating a bicycle who is approaching a stop sign at an intersection with a roadway having three or more lanes for moving traffic shall come to a complete stop before entering the intersection.
  2. An individual operating a bicycle who is approaching a stop sign at an intersection where a vehicle is stopped in the roadway at the same stop sign shall come to a complete stop before entering the intersection.
  3. An individual operating a bicycle who is approaching a stop sign at an intersection with a roadway having two or fewer lanes for moving traffic shall reduce speed and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the individual shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the individual is moving across or within the intersection, except that an individual, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right of way if required, cautiously may make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
  4. An individual operating a bicycle who is approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle that already has entered the intersection.
  5. When an individual operating a bicycle and a vehicle enter an intersection from different roadways at approximately the same time, the operator of the vehicle or bicycle on the shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle or bicycle on the right.
  6. If the individual operating a bicycle is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways after proceeding past a stop sign without stopping or past a steady red traffic-control light, the collision is deemed prima facie evidence of the individual’s failure to yield the right-of-way.

The primary update made to Chapter 11, or ordinance 1722, would now allow municipal courts to convert criminal judgments into civil judgements for collection in district court.