Grant helps effort to stop unsafe drivers in Lincoln Co. - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Grant helps effort to stop unsafe drivers in Lincoln Co.

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Some grant money is helping officers in Lincoln County target unsafe drivers this holiday season.

This is part of a statewide effort to try and prevent traffic deaths. The campaign is called “Zero in Wisconsin” and is being promoted by the Department of Transportation.

On a typical day in Lincoln County, three or four deputies are on patrol.

"We have 900 square miles in Lincoln County,” Lt. Tim Fischer said.

Thanks to some state money that number will go up this month. Officers told Newsline 9 more eyes on the road are key to finding unsafe drivers. This grant will pay for extra shifts to crack down on speed, seat belt use and drunk driving.

“When people see us out there, when they see us patrolling the roadways, they know what we're looking for,” Fischer said, adding, "I can honestly say that the numbers in Lincoln County as far as OWI arrests have gone down because we've gotten very strict with the OWI laws and enforcing them."

Some people agree, more patrols are a good thing.

"I really do hope that it will decrease the drinking and driving that is out there,” one driver in Merrill said.

Others argue extra patrols shouldn't be necessary.

“It should be common sense,” a driver told Newsline 9.

Officers said the "Zero in Wisconsin"grant will help make the message clear and Lt. Fischer hopes more officers on the roads will make that a reality.

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