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North Dakota Department of Transportation News Release. Toll Free: 1-855-NDROADS (637-6237)
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02/28/2017 03:36 PM

Traffic Safety Partner Summit Presents Awards to Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Advocates

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Around 150 representatives of law enforcement, transportation, engineering, public health and other safety agencies from across the state gathered to discuss traffic safety on February 27 and 28 at the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) annual Traffic Safety Partner Summit, sponsored by AAA North Dakota. 

Topics such as autonomous vehicles, validating standardized field sobriety test for drugs, market research on why motorists don’t wear their seat belt, how to not become a statistic, decreasing response time for emergency services, among other traffic safety topics were all part of the agenda.

The Summit also included an awards ceremony for those who showed outstanding service and dedication to accomplish the overall goal of reducing crashes resulting in fatal and serious injuries in North Dakota. There were four award categories for law enforcement and other safety advocates for their traffic safety service in North Dakota:   

  • 2017 Traffic Safety Officer of the Year – This award goes to the officer who displayed significant contributions to traffic safety through enforcement, training and education for the past year.
    • Deputy Chad Thompson, Cass County Sheriff’s Department

  • 2017 Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Officer of the Year – This award goes to the officer who excels in conducting DRE evaluations and creating awareness to their peers and community about the dangers of drug use and drugged driving.
    • Detective Jerry Stein, Bismarck Police Department

  • Beyond the Traffic Stop – These officers performed outstanding investigative skills that led to multiple arrests for narcotics, stolen property, and outstanding warrants all resulting from a single routine traffic stop.
    • Deputy Christopher L. Bittmann, Eddy County Sheriff’s Department
    • Officer Ryan Guggenberger, Bismarck Police Department
    • Officer Melvin Vargas, Bismarck Police Department

  • Traffic Safety Honor Roll Award – This award recognizes advocates of traffic safety and those who promote traffic safety messages to their peers through their own initiatives.
    • Dale Ludwig, Minot High School
    • Riley Howard, Dickinson Ambulance
    • Watford City Police Department

Nominations can be submitted by any law enforcement personnel and/or other traffic safety advocates and will be reviewed by a team at NDDOT.

For more information on traffic safety efforts to reduce motor vehicle deaths and serious injuries in North Dakota, visit


(Photos upon request) 


North Dakota Department of Transportation, 608 East Boulevard, Bismarck, ND 58505