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By Mark Gottlieb, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
You may have noticed the number of traffic fatalities being displayed on message signs along major roadways around the state. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is using this somber message to remind everyone that driving is the most dangerous activity most of us perform each day.
Last year, Wisconsin had 496 traffic fatalities, which was the lowest number of deaths and the first time below 500 fatalities since 1943. However, at the midway point of this year, traffic fatalities in Wisconsin are up significantly compared with the same period last year. This substantial increase in traffic deaths includes motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well as drivers and passengers in cars and trucks.
To reverse this tragic trend, WisDOT is intensifying its traffic safety efforts. Along with other engineering improvements, we will continue to add rumble strips to highways to help prevent drivers from crossing into oncoming lanes of traffic or running off the road. We will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to put more officers on the road for traffic safety enforcement in areas and at times when crashes are more likely to occur. We will maintain our education and public outreach efforts to motivate motorists to make better decisions and take responsibility for their actions behind the wheel.
But WisDOT and our traffic safety partners also need your help to prevent crashes. As we enter the busy summer travel months-typically the months with the highest number of traffic fatalities-we urge you to buckle up, slow down, pay attention and drive sober. We also need you to share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Above all, we need you to drive as if your life-and other lives-depended on it.