October 20, 2014

Traffic deaths down for 2013

Wisconsin traffic deaths are down from a year ago. The state Department of Transportation says 69 people lost their lives in crashes on Wisconsin roads during the first two months of 2013, nine fewer than in January and February of 2012, but one more than the average for the past five years.

For last month, preliminary figures showed that 28 people were killed. It’s the fifth lowest total for a February since World War Two, and it happened during a much milder winter than this one.

State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable says that, with spring on the way, car and truck drivers have to start watching for more bicycles, scooters, and motorcycles on the roads.

Huxtable also notes that officers are more strictly enforcing Wisconsin’s mandatory seat belt law. A recent report said the numbers of state motorists buckling up held steady last year at 79 percent, despite major enforcement campaigns. There’s already some talk in the Legislature about raising the state’s $10 fine for seat belt violations. Those tickets don’t add demerit points against your license, but Huxtable says they can still drive up what you pay for auto insurance.