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Published August 30, 2011, 05:37 PM

North Dakota Highway Patrol Revs Up Enforcement

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A new effort to keep you safe on North Dakota roads starts September 1. The North Dakota Highway Patrol will have more troopers on the roads, watching for unsafe driving behaviors.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A new effort to keep you safe on North Dakota roads starts September 1.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol will have more troopers on the roads, watching for unsafe driving behaviors.

"Operation White Out" is a new strategy by the Highway Patrol to reduce car accidents during periods of high traffic.

"You'll see a lot of patrol cars in specific areas, during high traffic periods," North Dakota Highway Patrol Sergeant Aaron Hummel said.

That's because the North Dakota Highway Patrol is cracking down on distracted driving.

By this time last year, one person died in a crash in North Dakota when distraction was a contributing factor.

This year, there have already been five.

Some drivers think the extra enforcement may help, especially when it comes to electronics.

"It might make them more aware of what's going on, too many on the cell phones, texting and all that kind of thing," traveler Ted Peloski said.

"I've had some close calls where people were making a turn and talking on the phone and came much too close to where I was waiting for the light," camper Dorothy Uloth said.

"There's a lot of phones glued to somebody's ear and it's distracting to them and possibly everyone else," camper Robert Uloth said.

Troopers will pick different locations to patrol during high traffic hours, looking for specific traffic violations and distractions.

"Some of the attention distractions that we're seeing out there would include the electronic devices in cars, radios, visiting with people, people just need to concentrate on driving," Hummel said.

Troopers say just a moment of distraction can cause a serious accident.

The extra enforcement will continue through mid-November.

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