Can you legally pass another vehicle on a residential 2-way side street in North Dakota?

We've all been there.  You need to be somewhere in 10 minutes and you have some yahoo in front of you going 15 miles an hour in a 25-mile-per-hour speed-limit residential area.

What do you do?  Speed up and go around them?  Is it even legal to do so?  That is something I've always wondered.

I recently witnessed this scenario on Rosser Avenue heading to the gym over my lunch break.

First, I noticed a vehicle racing up behind me on Memorial Bridge.  As we came up on the turn to get on to Rosser, there was one other vehicle in front of this person who was obviously in a big hurry.

As they both exited onto Rosser, the one vehicle that was in a hurry proceeded to pass the vehicle in front of them on a residential side street with no "dashed lines".  Is this even legal in North Dakota?

I know I've done it before, but I've never felt good about it.  It just seems like it couldn't be legal.

Well, I decided to sit down with one of Bismarck's finest, a police officer to set the story straight.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

His answer kind of surprised me.  Again, I admit that I have done this sort of passing myself before.  It just never seemed right, let alone safe.

As it turns out it IS LEGAL in North Dakota to pass a slowpoke on an unmarked residential side street.

Again, I'm talking on a street with no dashed lines.  It is LEGAL, but you absolutely can't speed to do it.  If the speed limit is 25 miles per hour, you must be able to safely pass them by going no faster than that.  That would be difficult in most situations.

Also, keep in mind other factors could be in play, like a local ordinance preventing passing in a certain area or other restrictions in place like no passing at intersections, railroad crossings, or hills.

Yep, the answer is clear as mud.  It's legal to pass somebody on a residential side street with no dashed lines but you better beware of your situation and don't speed while doing it or you will likely be ticketed for doing so.

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

The 15 BEST Small-Town Cafes In North Dakota

More From US 103-3