Wisconsin traffic deaths fall in 2013 - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin traffic deaths fall in 2013

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -  The number of fatalities on Wisconsin roads has dropped in a fairly noticeable way.

"Oh yeah I would say that they're down," said Sgt. Mark Klemm of the Everest Metro Police Dept.

According to the Department of Transportation, the number of casualties from crashes this year is 519. That's down from 601 last year, and below the national average of 571.

With just days left in the year,Wisconsin is on track for the safest year in several years. The Marathon County Sheriff's Department noticed lower numbers too.

"As of December 3, there have been 16 crashes with a total of 19 fatalities," said Deputy Brian Campbell of the Marathon County Sheriff's Dept.

Sheriff's deputies say they've found ways to keep that number from growing.

"Speedwave, Click It or Ticket, alcohol enforcement, and there are also a lot of anti distracted driving laws," said Campbell.

But of course, even one death is too many, and officers say we can all help reduce danger on the road.

"Put your phone or electronic devices away, pay attention to your driving slow down in inclement weather, and wear your seat belt," said Campbell.

Besides that, some programs are also working to curb traffic fatalities.

"There's a lot of grant funded programs that were done throughout the course of the year," said Campbell.

"The seat belt enforcement grant, the speed enforcement grant, and then night shift patrols that had OWI grants," said Klemm. He says those grants are working.

“It put more officers on the road to just focus on traffic," said Klemm.

 Another reason for the drop in traffic fatalities is that transportation officials say last year had a longer motorcycle season. This year, it was shorter.

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