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Law enforcement to look for drivers that text this month

North Dakota law enforcement have a message for drivers that text: Expect a $100 ticket.

Motorists that text and drive will be stopped, officials wrote in a North Dakota Department of Transportation release. The state passed a no-texting-and-driving law – which went into effect Aug. 1, 2011. Officers will conduct the first high-intensity workout this month across North Dakota.

“In training, we learned to watch for telltale signs the driver may be accessing a communications device to send data,” Minot Police Capt. Rob White said. “Many agencies will station officers on street corners, in high-profile vehicles or other vantage points.”

With the exception of Fargo, most communities have not seen a major emphasis on texting enforcement, according to the release. Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Minot will participate in the workout during April.

“My advice to North Dakota drivers is to put the phone away when you are behind the wheel; it could save you a lot of trouble,” White said.

Officers are expected to log a substantial number of traffic stops for potential texting citations, according to the release. Other high intensity texting enforcement periods will follow this summer.

April Baumgarten
April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, as the news editor. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college,  she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.