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North Dakota Highway Patrol releases year-end review

With increasing activity on roadways statewide, the North Dakota Highway Patrol will continue its commitment to enhancing traffic safety.

Troopers made 1,936 DUI arrests and 913 drug-related arrests last year. The NDHP maintained focus on other common crash causes, including excessive speed and right-of-way violations. Lack of seat belt use contributed to preventable injuries and deaths. Troopers issued 8,787 seat belt citations throughout the year. In 2013, troopers worked more than 14,000 overtime hours, including a special enforcement effort on Nov. 27 when all available troopers were on patrol.

Focused on education efforts, troopers gave 386 safety presentations around the state. “The men and women of our agency work hard to influence and educate motorists to drive safely,” said Col. Jim Prochniak. “Lives can be saved by driving defensively, sober and with seat belts fastened.”

Motor carrier safety has continued to be a large focus of the past year. More than 159,000 commercial motor vehicle permits were issued in 2013. Motor carrier troopers and inspectors participated in enforcement, inspection, and educational efforts with the goal of reducing factors that contribute to truck crashes. Efforts included speed, right-of-way, seat belt and vehicle size and weight enforcement blitzes. Patrol techniques varied from NDHP aircraft surveillance of right-of-way violations to truck enforcement and inspection blitzes. More than 13,500 driver-vehicle examinations were administered to identify truck drivers and vehicles that posed safety risks. Committed to protecting infrastructure, troopers assessed approximately $1.8 million in overload violation fees.

Preliminary numbers show 148 people died on roadways throughout the state in 135 fatal crashes compared to 170 victims and 147 fatal crashes in 2012. Forty-six percent of the victims died in alcohol-related crashes and 59 percent were not wearing seat belts.