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Fargo’s Police Chief says additional measures are needed to deal with ongoing traffic problems

Fargo’s police chief is seeking assistance from the city commission and state legislature to help reduce the city’s “public safety and quality of life” problems on the streets.

Chief Dave Zibolski says at the start of the pandemic, law enforcement agencies across the country began to see an increase in reckless driving, drivers fleeing from police and more vehicles being fitted with illegal enhancements such as illegal mufflers and loud exhaust . These things have not diminished and in fact have gotten worse. And Zibolski says with traffic fines as low as in North Dakota, enforcement efforts aren’t often a deterrent. Zibolski says even doubling the fines would not intimidate drivers.

“I was just talking to a guy from Minnesota the other day and he was talking about driving through Fargo and he was on the highway. And he said, “Oh, I didn’t realize how fast I was going! I know, I got pulled over, and I left, yeah And he said, “but then the guy said how much I’m done, and he was going to give me a ticket, and I said, how much is it?” The soldier told me twenty dollars. So I chuckled, I can pay you right here. It doesn’t slow anyone down.”

Zibolski says previous efforts to get the Legislature to step in have been unsuccessful; but “legislative fixes” are needed to address the current one-size-fits-all approach. And Zibolski says that while the Fargo Police Department is currently fully staffed, it can’t keep up with ongoing issues. He says the department would benefit from more funding to create more positions within the police force.