Opinion: Any Reform to North Dakota Speeding Fines Should Avoid Move Toward Policing for Profit

If there were no risk of death, injury, or property damage on our roads we’d have no need for speeding fines.

Unfortunately, that risk exists, and so to mitigate it we set speed limits and enforce them primarily with fines.

Many, including the editorial board of the Grand Forks Herald today, argue that North Dakota’s speeding fines are too low and should be raised for the sake of public safety. The Herald is touting a proposal for the upcoming legislative session from Grand Forks Police Chief Mark Nelson and City Councilman Danny Weigel (who is also a UND campus cop) to raise fines.

I reached out to Weigel to get some specifics, and he revealed that the proposal wouldn’t just make speeding penalties more severe. He’s also proposing a change to the way revenues are handled.