Share the Road

sharetheroadWith Spring comes nicer weather and more opportunities for people to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

The Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind all drivers and pedestrians to share the road.

The following are a few “rules of the road” based on Texas Transportation Code statutes.

 

 

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

  • A pedestrian may not walk along and on a roadway if an adjacent sidewalk is provided and is accessible to the pedestrian: (552.006)

If a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall if possible walk on the left side of the roadway; or the shoulder of the highway facing oncoming traffic.

Wireless Communication Device Ordinance

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On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Wichita Falls city councilors unanimously approved an ordinance banning the use of cell phones by drivers inside the city limits, unless a hands-free device (including speakerphone) is being used.  The purpose of this ordinance is to save lives and to keep the streets of Wichita Falls safe for our citizens.

Effective Date:

March 23, 2017

Here are the general requirements of the new ordinance restricting the use of cell phones by drivers:

Sec. 102-67. General Requirements.

(a) An operator of a vehicle may not use a wireless communication device for any purpose while operating a vehicle on any street or highway within the City of Wichita Falls, unless employing a hands-free device.

(b) This section does not apply to:

1.  An operator of an authorized emergency vehicle using a wireless communication device while acting in an official capacity;
2.  An operator who is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission while operating a radio frequency device other than a wireless communication device;
3.  An operator using a wireless communication device who is legally parked; or
4.  An operator who is using a wireless communication device while the vehicle is on private property.

The new cell phone ban isn’t just for drivers, either. The ordinance uses the term “vehicle” instead of “motor vehicle,” to ensure that bicycles, motorcycles, and any other device that can be used to transport persons or property on a highway is included in the ban.

To read the ordinance in it’s entirety, please click here:  http://bit.ly/2mm8Hr3

Wichita Falls joins almost 100 other Texas cities that have banned or restricted the use of cell phones while driving.

The maximum fine for a violation of this ordinance can be up to $500.00 plus court costs. Continue reading

WFPD Supports Nextdoor.com as Virtual Neighborhhood Watch Platform

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So far, over 5,000 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime.  Are you one of them?  If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up.  It’s free and simple.  Iphone and Android apps are also available.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Here is what Nextdoor.com is all about:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town.
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

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Forward to Police Feature

As Wichita Falls residents continue to use technology to communicate and
collaborate with each other, we are always looking for ways to innovate and make our relationship even stronger and Nextdoor helps facilitate that.  As a proactive and innovative agency, we are constantly finding ways to help make Wichita Falls’ neighborhoods even stronger and safer places to call home for our
residents.
A few months ago, we were excited to announce that we launched “Forward to Police”, a new feature on Nextdoor that allowed residents to send crime and safety information directly to the police department with a click of a button.  This new feature is allowing our department to better communicate with residents about topics of concern in their neighborhood on Nextdoor:
  • Forward to Police is an excellent way to help our department continue to stay informed
  • about the things that matter most to Wichita Falls neighborhoods and work more closely with our residents.
  • With Forward to Police, Wichita Falls residents are able to forward their Crime & Safety posts and Urgent Alerts on Nextdoor directly to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
  • It’s important to note that the Wichita Falls Police Department cannot access residents’ websites, contact information, or content, unless it is a Crime and Safety post or Urgent Alert that is forwarded to them via Forward to Police.
  • The Forward to Police feature is not an emergency reporting system. Residents are encouraged to call 911 in the case of an emergency.
Nextdoor has already been a successful communications tool for the Wichita Falls Police
Department. We look forward to our residents using Forward to Police as yet another tool
to connect with us and work together to make Wichita Falls an even better place to call home.
We partnered with Nextdoor in 2015 to help improve city-wide and
neighbor-to-neighbor communications. This is yet another way to use Nextdoor to
garner valuable feedback from our residents. We have always invested in crime prevention efforts and we are excited that Nextdoor will enable more residents across Wichita Falls to easily participate in a modern,virtual neighborhood watch. Forward to Police will help us identify residents’ concerns around crime and safety across Wichita Falls and work with residents to address them.
Join Nextdoor Today!!!

Are You Ready For Severe Weather?

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SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS

Texas is always susceptible to severe weather and damaging storms that threaten lives and property. Whether its tornados, severe thunderstorms, lightning, or floods, stay informed and protect yourself against potential severe weather threats in your area.

There are several ways residents and visitors can be notified about an emergency and receive the latest information about an ongoing incident.

icon-crmaaThe CodeRED system is used to send emergency notifications, from evacuation notices to missing child alerts.  Residents and businesses located within Wichita Falls are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED to be sure they receive timely emergency notifications and other important information and instructions when alerts are issued.  This is our way of notifying you in an emergency situation.

When you enroll in the CodeRED system, alerts are issued to you by your geographical location.  Alerts can be sent to your cell phone, land line, by text, and even email.  You get to choose!  With CodeRED, you get the option of also receiving the CodeRED Weather Warning.   These alerts are automatically generated when the National Weather Service issues a warning for your location.  This early warning could prove to be life saving. Continue reading

Great Texas Warrant Round-Up 2017 Starts on Saturday February 25th, Ends March 10th 2017

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Take Care of Your Outstanding Warrant Now!

Once again it’s time for Texas law enforcement to increase its efforts in serving outstanding arrest warrants by holding the state-wide Great Texas Warrant Roundup.  This will be the 11th year that Texas has done this, and this year over 300 jurisdictions (counties, municipalities, etc.) are involved. 

What is the Great Texas Warrant Roundup? 

This being Texas, it’s known as the largest such coordinated effort of its kind in the country where folk who have outstanding warrants – for anything from traffic violations or unpaid parking tickets to those with higher charges – are invited to voluntarily comply with the local badges.  What is the incentive to do so?   Those who don’t may face being arrested at their job or at home in front of their family.

In Wichita Falls, notices have been mailed to individuals with active warrants

During the next two weeks, individual’s  with outstanding city citations are encouraged to appear in person or contact Wichita Falls Municipal Court in order to avoid the embarrassment of being arrested at home, work or school during the Warrant Roundup.

How to clear an outstanding warrant: 

  • Pay in person or by mail at Wichita Falls Municipal Court, 611 Bluff St Wichita Falls, TX 76301.