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Wisconsin DOT plans more safety campaigns after rise in highway deaths



Last January was the safest month on Wisconsin highways in the past 5 years, with only 24 traffic deaths. 

But the rest of 2020 didn’t follow that trend, and the year-end death toll of 593 was the second-highest in 5 years. 

Reckless driving habits are being blamed for the rise in deadly crashes, including distracted driving by people using their cellphones. 

That’s one habit which state transportation secretary Craig Thompson wants drivers to break, especially drivers in their late teens and 20’s, along with people driving in construction zones.

Thompson also reports that the number of Wisconsin drivers ticketed for going over 100 miles an hour on the interstate more than doubled last year to 1379, compared to 575 tickets in 2019.    

The state’s traffic toll for 2020 was 593, compared to 550 in the previous year. 

The fewest traffic deaths for any month last year was 24 in January, while Wisconsin’s three deadliest months on the road were the warm-weather months of June, July, and September, with deaths in the 70’s for each of those months. 

Thompson says the state patrol will do more aerial enforcement this year, to discourage drivers from speeding.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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