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Dave Roepke, Published November 15 2010

Fargo police to begin major traffic safety push

FARGO – Fargo police unveiled the department’s response to a recent string of fatal traffic accidents Monday, a push that includes an admittedly stark media campaign.

Advertising in both radio and on television will ask “Are you getting it now?” Two TV ads feature gravestones interspersed with party scenes and a Fargo officer who lost his teenage daughter in a car crash.

“They are intended to be direct,” said Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes of the advertising, which will run through the end of the year and is budgeted for $10,000.

A radio spot has North Dakota State University head football coach Craig Bohl recounting the recent accidents, in which five people died in a three-week stretch through September and October.

Two billboards will also put a focus on drunk driving, showing a grave and a badly wrecked car.

The media push is part of what Ternes said will be a three-pronged approach in the wake of the fatalities, which have been Fargo’s only traffic deaths in 2009 and 2010.

Police will also emphasize enforcement and spend more time in high-traffic areas, such as arterial roads during rush hour and schools when students are arriving and departing.

For the full story, read The Forum on Tuesday.