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Patrol: Drivers can help cut down on traffic fatalities

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The North Dakota Highway Patrol says already, more people have died on state highways than lost their lives in crashes in all of last year.And the Patrol says if the trend continues, another 25 to 30 people may be killed between now and Christmas. Patrol Superintendent Colonel Jim Hughes says drinking and driving, and NOT buckling up, are main reasons why people get killed on the highway. Hughes says Patrol officers have already logged thousands of hours of overtime this year to help prevent fatalities.

"We have done, and law enforcement has done, about everything that we can with this issue. I think I illustrated that with the thousands of hours we've put in. But, you know, I wouldn't come out this strong and ask the public for their help if it wasn't serious. And they can do something -- each of us -- to save our own life."

Hughes says drivers can help by NOt driving after they drink, and by making sure they and their passengers are buckled up.The Patrol has special enforcement plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.