Traffic Safety

Unsecured or Leaking Loads
When hauling material on a vehicle, the driver must ensure that the load is secure.  The leaking of materials on Morton County highways has led to vehicle damage, flat tires, and unsightly messes.  Tree branches, roofing material, broken glass, furniture, etc., have all been the cause of unnecessary repairs and clean up costs.  This is especially true on landfill routes.  The use of tarps and tie-downs are not only a courtesy to others, but may also prevent a traffic citation if a deputy observes a leaking load. 

North Dakota Seat Belt Law
  • front seat occupants must be belted
  • children under 18 must be restrained or belted properly, no exceptions
  • infants must be in a rear-facing child seat until they are 1 year old and 20 lbs.
  • never place an infant seat in front of an airbag
  • toddlers must be in a forward-facing child seat until they are 40 lbs. 
  • small children between 40 and 80 lbs must use a belt-positioning booster seat, when shoulder belts are used
  • children under 7 must be in a child seat or belt-positioning booster seat, unless they are at least 57 inches tall (4' 9") and weigh at least 80 pounds
  • children weighing more than forty pounds may use only a lap belt if the vehicle is not equipped with lap and shoulder belts or if all lap and shoulder belts are in use by other occupants
  • the back seat is the safest place for children under 13

Move-Over Law

When emergency vehicles are parked or stopped on a multilane highway outside the limits of a city, and the emergency vehicle is displaying a flashing amber, blue, white, or red light, the driver of an approaching vehicle shall use caution and "move-over" one lane from the emergency vehicle if the move may be made safely.  If a lane change is not possible, the driver must: 

  • maintain a safe speed
  • take into account the road and weather conditions
  • realize that emergency or maintenance workers are in the area

This law applies to maintenance vehicles and tow trucks.

Following distance on the roadways

Motor vehicle accidents, complaints of tailgating, and road rage are reduced when drivers observe the "two second" rule.  When operating a vehicle, drivers who maintain at least a two second following distance can increase their reaction time.  Slick roadways and bad weather require even more following distance and reaction time. 

School bus safety

All vehicle traffic must stop when approaching a school bus with red lights and stop sign activated.  Use caution when you see a school bus with yellow lights activated. 

If you observe a violation in Morton County, please call 667-3330 with a description of the incident so that a deputy can address it. 

"Don't Crowd the Plow"
During winter driving conditions, drivers are advised to keep their distance from snowplows.  Snowplows need room to perform their duties.  There is significant risk in tailgating or passing a snowplow, especially at highway speeds.  Often times a "snow fog" is kicked up by the snowplow and other large vehicles.  This can result in zero visibility or "white out" conditions in which the snowplow operator cannot see any following or passing vehicles.  The passing or following vehicle also cannot see through the snow fog.  Snowplows must operate below the posted speed limit, and may need to stop suddenly.  Drivers are urged to use extreme caution and have patience. 
Careless operation (driving too fast for the conditions) resulting in a reportable accident with a snowplow is an infraction requiring a mandatory court appearance.