Mandan News

Seatbelt crackdown

During the summer months, more people are traveling, taking in the sights North Dakota has to offer. This includes more out-of-state drivers. Alcohol-related injury crashes have also been known to peak during July in North Dakota. This is a good time to make use of a vehicle’s best protection against the unexpected: seat belts.

Motorists who are buckled up will also be protecting themselves from a seat belt citation. Officers in 56 law enforcement agencies across the state are taking overtime shifts this month in order to add patrols for seat belt enforcement.

“This time of year we have a greater diversity of vehicles on the roads as well as more tourism traffic,” Burleigh County Chief Deputy Les Witkowski said. “There’s also a great diversity among motorists-commercial and construction drivers and summer fun seekers are sharing the road with new teen drivers, recreational vehicles, motorcycles and even ag equipment. The best thing you can do is make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up, as your most effective protection in case of sudden hazards or bad decisions by other drivers.”

All North Dakota law enforcement agencies enforce the state’s seat belt laws throughout the year, but the focus on seat belt enforcement will increase during July.

“Extra patrol officers, deputies and troopers will be enforcing traffic laws both day and night,” Witkowski said. “We never have any trouble finding officers to work overtime for seat belt enforcement. This is about saving lives.”

Funding for extra patrols is provided by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The enforcement effort includes the North Dakota Highway Patrol, county sheriffs’ offices and local police departments.