There's been a sharp increase in highway deaths in North Dakota.
State Transportation Director Francis Ziegler says 125 people have
died so far this year on North Dakota roads. There have been 110 fatal
crashes so far. Ziegler says the key issues are still seatbelt use. Of those
fatalities where seatbelts could've been beneficial, 70-percent of motorists
were not using them. And alcohol use. 50-percent of North Dakota's traffic
fatalities are caused by drinking and driving.
Ziegler says the North Dakota Highway Patrol's doing what it can to
help with enforcement. Ziegler also says the Department of Transportation is
doing what it can to make roads safer. Ziegler says one initiative was
installation of more "rumble strips" along the centerline and highway shoulders.
Ziegler says people like the idea that before you cross over into the opposite
lane, you have a rumble strip to wake you up, get you off the cell phone, or
stop texting or looking at your email.
Ziegler says nationally, statistics show rumble strips reduce traffic
fatals about 40-percent.