Minn. & ND law enforcement work to keep roads safe this Memorial Day weekend

They want to educate teens and adults on safe driving habits before more people travel for Memorial Day.

FARGO-MOORHEAD (KVRR) – Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths program partners and Vision Zero North Dakota for a safe driving demonstration.

They want to educate teens and adults on safe driving habits before more people travel for Memorial Day.

Thousands are traveling during the holiday weekend and law enforcement is upping the number of patrols on highways to maintain safe driving conditions.

North Dakota and Minnesota law enforcement say they see the most traffic and crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“It’s a busy time. You’ve got people opening up their lake cabins and getting out, maybe starting a family trip, camping, traveling, exploring, hiking, parks, graduations. Whatever it may be,” Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said.

“Ninety-four percent are because of some kind of driving error, so somebody is traveling too fast for conditions, following too close. They drive left of center, run through a stop sign. They drink and drive,” North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said.

Niewind says North Dakota is first in the nation in DUI arrests per capita.

“Alcohol is a huge part of our culture in North Dakota and we have about 40 to 45 percent of our fatal injury crashes every year that involve alcohol, so that’s too many,” Niewind said.

They encourage people to seek out other ways to get home like Lyft, Uber, a cab, or getting a ride from a family member or friend instead of getting behind the wheel.

“Worst conversation we can have is making that death notification, and that’s really why any of us law enforcement put this uniform on every day. To hopefully go out and make that difference so we don’t have to make that death notification,” Grabow said.

Wearing a seat belt is a big emphasis also.

They have this simulation here that shows what can happen during a crash. If you aren’t wearing a seat belt, and how a seat belt can protect you from further injury.

“I’ve always worn my seat belt just to wear it, and now I know what would happen and how it would actually protect me if I got in a crash. I would rather get hit by the seat belt and pull be back then to go through the windshield,” Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton student Nate Backes said.

“I feel like all kids should do this. Maybe even offer it at some schools. I feel like that would be very beneficial for the students,” Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Student Peyton Backes said.

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