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Counties pleased with recent Hwy. 23 enforcement

WILLMAR -- More than 100 vehicles were stopped for speeding, seatbelt, and other traffic violations during a November cooperative law enforcement effort on state Highway 23 from Willmar to Granite Falls.

From Nov. 16 to 23, Kandiyohi County deputies patrolled Highway 23 in Chippewa County and Chippewa County deputies patrolled Highway 23 in Kandiyohi County to enforce traffic laws and raise seat belt awareness. Changeable message signs were placed near the Highway 23 segments to alert motorists of the enforcement zone.

Deputies issued seven speeding citations, 30 speed warnings and four seatbelt tickets. In addition to the citations, 105 vehicles were stopped for various traffic, driver's license or registration violations.

A total of 83 hours was spent on the enforcement effort by the Kandiyohi and Chippewa sheriffs' offices and State Patrol troopers from the Marshall and St. Cloud districts.

"Our deputies enjoyed having the opportunity to be part of a project to enforce traffic laws outside of the county which ultimately contributed to safer roads in Kandiyohi County," Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said.

"When a cooperative law enforcement effort between agencies works toward the same goal of making roadways safer, everyone benefits," said Lt. Brian West of the State Patrol in Marshall.

This new effort was a partnership between the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Transportation as a result of the Southwest Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths initiative. The goal is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on roadways through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical services.