BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum proclaimed Oct. 30 – Nov. 3 Severe Winter Weather Week in North Dakota and partners from the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP), North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and National Weather Service held a news conference today to provide information to help motorists prepare for winter weather and potential traffic impacts.
“Winter weather is upon us again and it is a great time to start thinking about safe winter driving,” said Matt Linneman, NDDOT deputy director for engineering. “It is very important to stay up to date on local weather and road conditions before you leave the house. And remember to slow down and always drive according to the conditions.”
The NDDOT provides updated road condition information through the ND Roads mobile app or online at travel.dot.nd.gov. In addition to snow conditions and road closures, the ND Roads mobile app also offers real-time photos of road conditions across North Dakota.
“All motorists are responsible for slowing down, staying alert, being patient and driving for the current road conditions,” said Tom Iverson, NDHP major of operations. “Just because there is a speed limit set doesn’t mean that traffic can go that speed. Motorists should be slowing down by at least 20-30 mph if not more, especially on roadways with higher speed limits when roads become icy, and visibility is reduced. Road conditions change quickly and once they do it may be too late to slow down. This simple decision can save a person time, money, and possibly their life.”
Some important items for the emergency kit are jumper cables, flashlight, small shovel, blankets, food and a first aid kit. For a complete list of emergency kit items and more winter driving tips visit ndresponse.gov.
Iverson also reminded motorists to not bypass closed roads during severe winter weather, which carries a $250 fine. He said when a road is closed, conditions are life-threatening and the road may be impassible or blocked. Also, when cleanup operations begin, abandoned vehicles can cause delays in roads being cleared and re-opened.
Throughout the winter, snowplow operators will be working to keep road conditions as safe and clear as possible. Motorists should remember to stay back at least five car lengths and use extra caution when driving near snowplows.
If motorists do happen to stall during a blizzard or heavy snowstorm, they should stay in their vehicle and run the motor and heater sparingly. They also should open a window a small amount for ventilation and to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Motorists should not try to walk out of a storm, but instead call 9-1-1 to report their situation.
For up-to-date winter weather information, follow the NWS, NDDOT, NDHP and NDResponse on Facebook and X.
David Finley | North Dakota Department of Transportation
Sgt. Wade Kadrmas | North Dakota Highway Patrol
Eric Jensen | North Dakota Department of Emergency Services
JP Martin | National Weather Service