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According to ND State Patrol, road flares are useful for slowing down traffic



Fargo, North Dakota – The simpler the better, sometimes. Road flares are being used by the North Dakota State Patrol at crash scenes to signal to oncoming vehicles to move aside.

The flares are effective, according to Capt. Bryan Niewind, who oversees the southeast area of the patrol. They release red flames and sparkles.

“They are, we’ve deployed them, they do have a time limit on them so when they burn out we have to redeploy another road flare and we’ve had cases where our troopers have put road flares out, people move over, slow down for those road flares, when they go out people start blowing by us going too fast, obviously not moving over,” Niewind said.

“We have our lights on but those road flares are making a big, it’s a game changer for us, it’s making people move over, Niewind concluded.

According to Niewind, troopers also carry electronic flares known as “busy flares,” but these appear to function less effectively and are susceptible to the effects of cold.

After 23 years on the patrol, he thinks this is the first time flares have been utilized on a North Dakota roadway. Five North Dakota patrol units were destroyed in crashes in the state’s east over the previous winter.

Road flares have been placed at crash scenes by the Minnesota State Patrol for several years.