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Fargo Police Chief says additional measures are needed to deal with ongoing traffic issues

Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski speaks to reporters.
D. Webster
Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski speaks to reporters.

Illegal vehicle enhancements like loud mufflers, loud exhaust, and exhibition driving have been persistent issues on Fargo streets since the pandemic.

Fargo’s Police Chief is asking the city commission and state legislature for assistance in helping curb the city’s “public safety and quality of life” issues on the streets.

Chief Dave Zibolski says at the beginning of the pandemic, law enforcement agencies across the country began to see increases in reckless driving, motorists fleeing from police and more vehicles being outfitted with unlawful enhancements, such as illegal mufflers and loud exhaust. Those things have not subsided, and have in fact gotten worse. And Zibolski says with traffic fines as low as they are in North Dakota, law enforcement efforts are not often a deterrent. Zibolski says even doubling fines wouldn’t intimidate motorists.

"I was just talking to a guy the other day from Minnesota, and he was talking about driving through Fargo, and he was on interstate. And he said, 'oh, I didn't realize how fast I was going! Next thing I know, I got pulled over,' and I go, yeah? And he said, 'but then the guy said how much I was over, and he was going to give me a ticket, and I said, how much is it? And the trooper told me twenty bucks. So I chuckled said, can I pay you right here? And then I'll be on my way.' It's not slowing anybody down."

Zibolski says prior efforts to ask the Legislature to intervene have not been successful; but “legislative fixes” are what’s needed to address the current one-size-fits-all approach. And Zibolski says while the Fargo Police Department is currently fully staffed, they are unable to keep up with the ongoing issues. He says the department would benefit from more funding to create more positions within the police force.