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City Traffic Codes

September 6, 2017
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

The next ordinance in the series of Emmetsburg ordinances will be published over multiple newspapers, as these particular chapters are lengthy. Chapters 60 through 70 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances address the Emmetsburg Traffic Code.

In chapter 60, a peace officer has the power to direct traffic. If an officer is not available at the scene, then an officer of the fire department when at the scene of a fire may take over. Either of these persons may direct traffic through the use of their voice, hand, or signal in accordance with traffic laws.

A driver of a vehicle that is involved in a traffic accident within the City of Emmetsburg must file a report when one is needed to the Iowa Department of Transportation. A copy of the report should also be filed with the City for confidential use of peace officers.

A peace officer is authorized to stop a vehicle to view the driver's license, serve summons or a memorandum of traffic violation, and to inspect the vehicle and safety equipment. "A peace officer having probable cause to stop a vehicle may require exhibition of the proof of financial liability coverage card issued for the vehicle."

The final section of chapter 60 states, "no person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any peace officer invested by law with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic."

The purpose of Chapter 61 of the Code of Ordinances is to establish and maintain appropriate traffic control devices to indicate parking spaces and zones, no parking spots, limited parking zones, reserve parking, loading zones, safety zones, yield right-of-way intersections, etc. "The City shall have the power to designate and indicate intersections at which traffic shall be controlled by traffic signals; intersections at which left turns, right turns, and U-turns shall be prohibited; and intersections at which markers, buttons, or other indications shall be placed to indicate the course to be traveled by vehicles traversing or turning at such intersections."

Chapter 61 mentioned that the placement of crosswalks throughout the City has been determined by the City Council. Crosswalks have been deemed necessary in locations where, due to traffic conditions, there is an increased risk to pedestrians crossing the street.

It is unlawful for any operator of a vehicle to fail or refuse to stay within the boundaries of the lanes in the roadway unless the vehicle is legally passing another vehicle.

Chapter 62 includes general traffic regulations that are included in the Iowa Code. These traffic expectations include the use of a turn signal, display of license plates, and driving on the right-hand-side of the roadway. This particular section of the chapter lists 145 laws that are included in the Iowa Code.

Chapter 62 also prohibits the operation of a vehicle on any sidewalk except at a driveway. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on city streets unless all passengers of the vehicle are inside the car in a place intended for their accommodation. This means that each person must have an appropriate seat in a vehicle for it to operate legally. Also, no person riding a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, in-line skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall be attached to a moving vehicle upon a roadway.

Chapter 62 discusses open container laws. A driver and a passenger shall not possess, in the passenger area of the car, any container (bottle, can, jar, etc.) that contains an alcoholic beverage. For the purpose of this section, the "passenger area" refers to the "area of a motor vehicle designated to seat the driver and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the driver or a passenger while in their seating positions, including the glove box. An open or unsealed receptacle containing alcohol may be transported in the trunk of a motor vehicle. An unsealed receptacle containing alcohol beverage may be transported behind the last upright seat of the motor vehicle if the motor vehicle does not have a trunk."

Careless driving is not allowed in the City of Emmetsburg. Careless driving is classified as "creating or causing unnecessary tire squealing, skidding, or sliding upon acceleration or stopping; Simulating a temporary race; causing any wheel or wheels to unnecessarily lose contact with the ground; causing the vehicle to unnecessarily turn abruptly or sway."

Finally, Chapter 62 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances contains the law involving engine braking within city limits. "No person shall use or operate any engine brake, compression brake or mechanical exhaust device designed to aid in the braking or deceleration of any vehicle that results in excessive, loud, unusual, or explosive noise from such vehicle, except in response to an imminent traffic accident."

The Traffic Code of Ordinances will continue in the Democrat on Thursday, Sept. 7.



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