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Promoting Traffic Safety In Oil Country

ProgressZone - promoting traffic safety in oil country

Moving forward safelyThe North Dakota Petroleum Council, in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol, has launched the "ProgressZone" campaign aimed at promoting traffic safety in oil country.

ProgressZone Campaign Core Messages:

  • Pass with caution.
  • Be patient. Slow down!
  • Buckle up. Every time.
  • Roads shared. Lives spared.

"The ProgressZone campaign reinforces important road safety messages that motorists need to remember as we continue to make infrastructure improvements in North Dakota's oil country." - ND Gov. Jack Dalrymple

Pass with Caution billboard
Billboards highlighting the "ProgressZone" campaign core messages will appear throughout western North Dakota for the duration of the campaign.

Oil Country: Making Progress and Moving Forward Safely

JULY 22, 2011

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), along with representatives from state agencies and other concerned organizations, announced today the start of a public awareness effort to promote traffic safety in western North Dakota.

Called ProgressZone, the campaign urges motorists driving in oil country to be patient and exercise caution while traveling in this area of the state. The effort includes the use of multiple methods and mediums to build public awareness including billboards, newspapers and broadcast outlets.

Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), says the ProgressZone campaign helps re-enforce the message that oil country is a work in progress. “Many improvements in oil country are planned over the next few years,” says Ness.

With the help from the State’s new budget and other sources of revenue, oil country will undergo major reconstruction including road repairs and infrastructure improvements, additional gas plants and more pipelines. The State’s 2011-2013 executive budget proposal plans to spend a total of $371 million from the Permanent Oil Tax Trust Fund for state, county and township road construction and maintenance in the 17 oil-producing counties.

Additionally, the oil industry has made tremendous improvements to help ease traffic risks for everyone. Recent investment in pipelines and the Stanley Rail System have allowed for a more effective means of transporting the oil, thus reducing the number of semi-trailers on the roadways.

To help educate drivers and keep motorists safe, the ProgressZone campaign will focus on the following key messages: Pass with Caution; Be Patient. Slow Down; Roads Shared. Lives Spared; and Buckle Up. Every Time.

“Safety of the traveling public is the number one priority of this campaign. By following these tips, many crashes can be prevented and lives can be saved,” says Francis Ziegler, director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation. “Drivers may not be accustomed to the higher traffic volumes experienced in western North Dakota and the ProgressZone campaign asks all drivers to be patient and share the road.”

While the expanding oil industry has produced many beneficial results, an increase in traffic, especially heavy truck traffic, has contributed to a number of crashes, some of which have included fatalities. This has prompted the North Dakota Highway Patrol and other groups to take action in encouraging safety on the roadways.

“This campaign will provide the public with important reminders about safe driving,” says Colonel James Prochniak, Superintendent of the North Dakota Highway Patrol. “The solution for most of North Dakota’s traffic safety issues lies with our drivers. We all share a responsibility to make sound, cautious decisions when we drive.”

Colonel Prochniak says the State is dedicated to the success and progress in oil country, but more importantly to the safety of North Dakotans. Ness says the industry shares the State’s dedication to responsible development in oil country, including the shared dedication to the safety of North Dakotans.

 “The ongoing development of oil and natural gas resources in western North Dakota will provide long-term benefits to the state, its economy and the entire country, said Ness. “This campaign ties that development with important safety messages and reminds drivers that everybody shares the responsibility to be safe on the roadways.”


The North Dakota Petroleum Council represents more than 250 companies involved in all aspects of the oil and gas industry. For more information, go to: www.ndoil.org

The North Dakota Department of Transportation is responsible for providing a transportation system that safely moves people and goods across the state. Go to www.dot.nd.gov for more information.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol strives to make a difference every day by providing high quality law enforcement services to keep North Dakota safe and secure.  To learn more about the Highway Patrol’s mission, visit www.nd.gov/ndhp.