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North Dakota DOT reviews intersection’s traffic safety

March 4, 2018

RUTHVILLE, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Department of Transportation is examining an intersection that some consider dangerous between Minot and the Minot Air Force Base.

The agency is seeking public input following a recent fatal accident that occurred at the U.S. Highway 83 intersection, the Minot Daily News reported.

An Air Force Base man, William Buchanan, collided in his car with a semitrailer near Ruthville on Feb. 15, resulting in Buchanan’s death by injuries two days later. The state Highway Patrol found that the semitrailer’s driver failed to yield at the intersection.

Many motorists have said that the intersection’s overhead lights aren’t adequate for warning drivers of possible dangers. Burlington resident Paul Engledinger said changes to the intersection should be made.

“I’m thinking they should probably do a speed reduction. It’s 70 miles per hour there now,” Engledinger said. “Maybe there needs to be a signal light there, maybe. At least the overhead warning lights should be enhanced.”

The overhead lights can be difficult for motorists to see depending on the time of day or the direction of travel.

“The northbound light is a very low light until you get close to it,” Engledinger said. “It ought to be replaced with a state of the art LED.”

Records from the state’s Transportation Department show that there was one fatality and three serious injury crashes at the intersection from 2008 through 2012. Between 2013 and 2017, there was one fatality and one serious injury crash. Transportation officials don’t consider the statistics to be high.

Agency officials said they’re figuring out whether any changes need to be made in the interest of public safety.

“We’re looking at it. It sounds like we’ll have a public meeting probably sometime in March,” said Jamie Olson, an agency official. “It will probably be held in Minot, kind of like a public forum. It’s not really to determine a solution at that time but a chance for us to receive input.”

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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