North Dakota lowers speed on U.S. Highway 52/281 near bypass

An increase in the amount of commercial truck traffic moving through the U.S. Highway 52/281 bypass northwest of Jamestown, ND, prompted a speed limit reduction and more caution signs around the intersection, according to a report in the Jamestown Sun.

The speed limit on Highway 52/281 about a quarter-mile north of the bypass was reduced from 70 to 55 mph. The change went into effect on August 29. New speed limit signs and new lighted flashing signs warning of the approaching intersection were installed on the highway. Herzig said the intersection of the bypass road with the highway is one that gets a lot of attention from the patrol.

Sgt. Tom Herzig, of North Dakota Highway patrol, said the traffic counts show there was a 47% increase in commercial truck usage in the bypass area and that reducing the speed limit from 70 to 55 mph will give traffic traveling south on Highway 52/281 more time to react to vehicles pulling out at the intersection.

The most common traffic violation Herzig said he sees happening at the bypass intersection is right-of-way violations by commercial truck drivers who want to turn north from the bypass road onto Highway 52/281.

“They simply pull out from the stop sign without a clear field of view,” he said. “These are driver error-type of accidents.”

Herzig said troopers will be giving out warnings as drivers who travel on the road may not be used to the change. “… we’ll give people time to get used to it,” he said.

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