Operation Blaze Orange on Highway 169 stops 187 vehiclesNo real surprises were seen in Operation Blaze Orange, the first organized line patrol enforcement project held on deer hunting opener last Friday on USTH 169 as troopers reported stopping at least 187 vehicles.
BRAINERD — No real surprises were seen in Operation Blaze Orange, the first organized line patrol enforcement project held on deer hunting opener last Friday on USTH 169 as troopers reported stopping at least 187 vehicles. At least 49 speeding citations were written, along with 12 seat belt citations, at least 93 miscellaneous warnings and a variety of other activity not tracked, including a couple car/deer crashes that occurred.
Lt. Joe Dwyer said that, “I find the most impressive number is the one that is not listed: zero fatalities on US169 during Operation Blaze Orange. That’s what this campaign was all about – keeping motorists safe and putting a stop to unsafe behaviors.” Preliminary results show that one fatality was reported so far for the whole weekend in Minnesota, when a pedestrian was killed on University Avenue in the Coon Rapids area on November 2.
Troopers from the Brainerd, Mankato, St. Cloud, Twin Cities area and Virginia State Patrol districts joined together in this effort. Troopers in the St. Cloud district reported no activity for the project as they were unable to spend as much time specifically patrolling USTH 169 due to the high call volume on other roadways, especially I-94. Some local agencies also had officer or deputies out working with troopers during this line patrol, but may not have reported the enforcement activity.
According to Sgt. Curt Mowers, Public Information Officer, “Operation Blaze Orange experienced a media blitz as members of media rode along with troopers in some area, and troopers appeared on radio show programs to talk about it after the news release was sent out announcing the project. The State Patrol believes that education and enforcement combined together, results in a synergistic effect of safer travel during times of higher traffic volume. Operation Blaze Orange seemed to be no exception.”