The mission of the Traffic Section is to reduce property damage, injuries, and deaths caused by traffic crashes in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. Preventative patrols, proactive enforcement, community education, analysis of traffic crash data, investigation of traffic crashes, and active problem solving are used to accomplish this mission.
The Traffic Section is divided into four (4) units: Selective Traffic Law Enforcement (STLE), Driving Under the Influence/Traffic Enforcement (DUI), Traffic Investigation Unit (TIU), and the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP). The units are dedicated to promoting and improving traffic safety through education, analysis, and enforcement. We do this by providing responsive, cost effective, and innovative services.
Traffic Section’s Goals and Objectives:
- To promote traffice safety through education and enforcement means.
- To identify high accident areas, analyze data, and apply problem-solving techniques in the resolution of traffic problems.
- To enhance traffic safety in the CNMI by reducing both the frequency and severity of traffic crashes.
- To aggressively investigate citizen complaints and enforce all applicable traffic laws and regulations.
- To vigorously pursue the investigation of any and all illegal activities detected as a result of traffic stops.
- To act as representatives of the Department through public appearances at special functions or events.
- To represent the Department as public speakers and instructors, when requested.
- To increase enforcement efforts on impaired drivers.
- To improve the safe transportation of passengers and goods on our highways.
- To reduce fatalities, injures, property damage, and hazardous materials incidents.
The units address the Traffic Section’s goals and objectives with traditional traffic safety events, including, but not limited to:
- Speed Enforcement Activities
- Highway Criminal Interdictions (Hi-Ci)
- Selective Traffic Offense Program (S.T.O.P.)
- Car Seat/Seat Belt Checkpoints
- Liability Insurance Checkpoints
- DUI/Sobriety Checkpoints
- Child Passenger Safety Program
- Seat Belt Safety Programs
- Participation in National Traffic Safety Programs
- Traffic Safety Proclamations
- Traffic Safety Programs (Drivers Education)
- STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program)
- Strike Force Operation
- Covert Operation
In addition, Traffic Section personnel analyze traffic crash data to identify problem corridors and solutions by working with the Department of Public Work’s Traffic Safety Division (Engineering). Traffic personnel also respond and answer to citizen concerns related to any traffic or criminal matters.
For any traffic related question or scheduling of traffic safety presentations, please call (670) 664-9084/9085.
Selective Traffic Law Enforcement (STLE) Unit
The STLE Unit’s primary responsibility is to enforce traffic laws and promote the safe flow of traffic on our highways and roadways. They handle crashes, direct traffic, assist in escorting dignitaries, assist in fatal and critical accident investigations, and other duties as assigned.
Besides speed enforcement activities, personnel gather statistical data and utilize them to conduct other traffic enforcement activities. This data includes high accident locations along with the areas of concern brought to our attention by residents and community groups. The intent is to direct enforcement activities to the areas identified as being problematic.
Driving under the Influence/Traffic Enforcement (DUI) Unit
The main responsibility of the DUI Unit is to conduct DUI patrols and traffic enforcement activities in an effort to create safer highways and roadways. Personnel are tasked at reducing alcohol-related traffic fatalities, injuries, and property damage by aggressively enforcing CNMI Traffic laws during the evening and early morning hours. These personnel are specially trained to detect and apprehend impaired drivers on our highways and roadways.
Traffic Investigation Unit (TIU)
Traffic Investigation Unit (TIU) officers are specially trained investigators in traffic accident reconstruction and investigation. These officers have taken numerous accident investigation trainings conducted by the Institute of Police Technology Management (IPTM). TIU Officers are called to the scene of all serious and fatal vehicle traffic accidents.
For traffic accident investigators, the moments immediately following the motor vehicle accident are crucial. Officers must work quickly and confidently to preserve significant physical evidence from the accident scene before it is altered or disappears. Officers must also anticipate what information will be needed for enforcing traffic laws, planning accident prevention and litigating accident cases. In addition, they must properly document the data for these various uses because once the scene is cleared, this data may never be recovered.
Officers reconstruct the scene of a traffic accident to determine how the accident occurred. Describing the events of the accident, in more or less detail, is the goal of the traffic investigation unit. Officers collect information about an accident and analyze the information that has already been collected. In order to be successful in traffic accident reconstruction, officers must be skilled to prepare after-accident situation maps, classify and interpret vehicle damage, properly interpret marks on the road, and be proficient in algebra.
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP)
MCSAP is an international, coordinated, and uniformed program of inspections and enforcement activities related to intrastate and interstate commercial vehicle and drivers. The program is designed to immediately place defective drivers and defective vehicles out of service, if necessary, until defects have been corrected. The agenda provides for safety and compliance reviews of transportation facilities, as mandated by federal rule. The laws governing the program allow for the assessment of penalties. One of the unit’s major goals is to begin accident report development and revisions to correlate commercial accident data with motor carrier safety.
The unit is responsible for enforcing laws related to commercial vehicles including regulations related to vehicle registration, safety, and vehicle weight limits. The Motor Carrier officers often conduct a full Level 1 inspection. This includes a check of the driver’s license and medical certificate, hours of service, seat belt, vehicle inspection report, brake system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, turn signals, brake and tail lamps, headlamps, load securement, steering, suspension, tires and hazardous materials requirements.