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As I See It

Wisconsin snow plows need more technology



As we saw again over the weekend, winter storms can prove deadly. Is the state of Wisconsin doing enough to keep us safe? While an increasing number of states are utilizing improved technologies to keep their roads clear, Wisconsin continues to outfit its road crews the old fashioned way. Technology has brought big changes to the job of snowplowing, which helps keep us safer on the roads. Things like road sensors and onboard cameras that provide online, real-time pictures of road conditions. Imagine. Just go online, and see where the roads are clear, and where they aren’t. It’s happening in Iowa, and elsewhere. Some states are even installing their own weather stations which use sensors in the pavement to alert road crews to the road’s temperature. That can help them more effectively determine whether to apply more road chemicals, or less. Technology is allowing states to assess their performance during storms, such as how quickly they were able to clear the roads, and whether the number of crashes were down. Minnesota is aggressively using new technology in its plows, where about two thirds have gone high-tech. Given our sometimes nasty winter weather, Wisconsin should begin to invest in this new technology to be sure we clear our roads as efficiently as possible, to keep us as safe as possible.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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