Bill on various traffic-related issues fails in the Senate

A co-sponsor of Senate Bill 2169, Senator John Sickler, R-Grand Forks, thinks the bill's original concerns will be addressed in an upcoming legislative session.

North Dakota Capitol
North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck. Forum file photo

BISMARCK — A bill proposing traffic offense penalties, as well as traffic studies, failed to pass the North Dakota Senate on Tuesday, April 25.

The final version of Senate Bill 2169 proposed a special penalty for those who drive under the influence while a minor is in their vehicle, as well as those who cause injury or death while driving under the influence.

The bill also proposed temporary maximum speed limits when road conditions on state highways are determined to be hazardous. Fines were also proposed for those who drive on closed roads and subsequently obstruct the road or require law enforcement assistance.

Also included in the amended bill were studies on traffic fees, seat belts and highway safety.

The amended bill passed in the House on April 11, 82-7, but failed to pass once it returned to the Senate, 41-6.


A co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Sickler, R-Grand Forks, said the original bill was “pretty straightforward.”

Senate Bill 2169 originally proposed an additional $100 fine for drivers with any combination of three or more specified traffic violations within five years. The list included 42 specified violations, but was later amended to 23.

Sickler said when the bill returned from the House, however, it had “a lot of amendments, on a lot of various topics.”

“When you make it a bit of an omnibus bill, you put a little bit on there for everyone to potentially dislike,” Sickler said.

Additionally, Sickler said some legislators were likely uncomfortable with all the amendments being added after hearings concluded, because they were unable to submit testimony on the changes.

“I think that probably drove a lot of the reasons why, on the Senate side, it failed,” Sickler said.

Sickler thinks the bill’s original concerns will be brought up in future legislative sessions.

“Even various aspects of the amendments that were added, I think some of those have legitimate concerns,” said Sickler. “But I think the best way to do it is to bring it up in individual bills, so that each idea can be reviewed and analyzed separately.”


Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022.

Kelly covers public safety, including local crime and the courts system.

Readers can reach Kelly at (701) 780-1102 or
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