Traffic Safety

Wisconsin's New 70 MPH Speed Limit*
70MPH

On May 20, 2015 Governor Scott Walker passed legislation allowing for the passage of new 70 mile per hour speed zones on some sections of Wisconsin's four-lane highways. We want to make you aware of a few pieces of information about this new law as it relates to our area. 

- This law DOES NOT take effect until the new signs are posted on the applicable highways.

- The speed limit will change to 70 miles per hour on Interstate 39 in Marathon County but NOT US Highway 51. This means the new speed limit will only be posted from the Portage County line near Lake Dubay to Business Highway 51 / Cedar Creek. The speed limit north of there to the Lincoln County line (north of Wausau) will remain 65 mph.

- This law change does not change an officer's tolerance for speed. 70 MPH is the MAX SPEED allowed.

High-Visibility Enforcement (HVE): OWI Task Force

The HVE OWI Task Force is a grant-funded mutual-aid oint partnership between the Wausau, Rothschild and Kronenwetter Police Departments.

The five officer task force consists of officers from each community who are deployed to work a six-hour high-visibility traffic enforcement shift in a specific community. Task force deployment dates are split between the three communities and are on various dates. During deployments, temporary signs are placed around the deployment area to raise awareness and deter impaired driving. Deployments are typically also advertised on news and social media.

The drunk driving statistics in Wisconsin are frightening

  • Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the United States of America
  • In 2012, 33,0000 people were convicted of drunk driving in the State of Wisconsin
  • More than 1 out of 3 fatal crashes were alcohol-related in 2012
  • 223 people were killed in alcohol related crashes in 2012 in Wisconsin, more than 3,000 injured

HVE Task Force Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ’s)

Q: Who is paying for this program? A: The program is grant funded

Q: Why did I see a Kronenwetter officer stopping cars in Wausau? A: The task force consists of officers from Wausau, Kronenwetter and Rothschild. During a deployment, the officers are assigned to one specific community to work traffic enforcement. This is made possible through a written mutual-aid agreement between the three departments.

Q: Are police using roadblocks? A: No! Drunk driving roadblocks are illegal in the State of Wisconsin. The task force simply means additional officers are being assigned to work traffic enforcement in an area.

Q: I got a citation from a Wausau officer in Kronenwetter. Where do I pay? A: As with all citations, do not pay based on which agency the officer was from but what court is assigned on the citation. You should see the court information on the very top of the citation. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office.

Bicycle Safety: Rules of the Road

So after a long & freezing winter, we have finally made it to warmer weather. With that, we know that bicycles will once again be hitting the streets. So we wanted to remind you of laws related to bicycling that are meant to keep you safe.

Bike
  • Bicycles must ride with vehicle traffic.This means bicycles ride the same direction as vehicles, not toward them.
  • Bicycles must observe traffic laws. This means you must stop at stop signs/traffic signals.
  • All bicycles must have a red reflector on the rear. When riding during hours of darkness, you must also have a headlamp on.
  • Although it’s not a law, you are highly recommended to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and to wear a helmet.
  • More common laws and information are found at this link.
Zero In Wisconsin

A Vision We Can All Live With

Wisconsin ended 2008 with the fewest traffic fatalities in more than 60 years. But this encouraging news is little consolation to the families and friends of the more than 500 people who died in traffic crashes last year.

ZeroWisconsin

Because most traffic crashes are caused by motorists’ behavior such as speeding, driving while impaired and not wearing safety belts, we know that most of these deaths were preventable. To deliver the message that even one preventable death is one too many, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and our traffic safety partners have launched the Zero In Wisconsin campaign.

With the Zero In Wisconsin campaign, we will demonstrate clearly and intensely how simple changes in driving behavior and habits—changes we can all live with—will prevent motorists from injuring and killing themselves or others.Simply put, in Wisconsin, the only acceptable number of traffic deaths is ZERO.

The below videos are brought to you by the Wisconsin Dept of Transportation.

Speed Enforcement Campaign

Every day we receive complaints regarding speeding and erratic driving across the community; from neighborhood streets to rural roads and Interstate 39.

We respond to complaints through increased traffic patrols and speed trailer placement. The speed trailer will not only make commuters aware but will also track statistics on speed levels and when speeding is most frequent by time. To request the speed trailer or more information click here.

Wisconsin 511 Program

Did you now Wisconsin is a participant in the 511 program? WI 511 allows you to call 511 or visit the website 511wi.gov to get live information about traffic reports throughout the State of WI. 511 reports lane closures, future lane closures, shows message boards and DOT cameras and reports live traffic incidents and winter weather reports from law enforcement officers on the roads. You can also view information from MN and IA 511. So before hitting the road, be sure to check out 511wi.gov.