BLUE MOUNDS, Wis. (AP) - Police across Wisconsin have ramped up efforts to stop aggressive driving by writing more speeding tickets.
The strategy is appearing to work, as citations increased nearly 7 percent in 2015, to more than 172,000, the Wisconsin State Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2ks2DJW). Before then, speeding convictions had dropped 34.5 percent in eight years, to just more than 161,000 in 2014.
The newspaper analyzed about 450,000 speeding convictions from 2013 to 2015. During that period, nearly 1,600 motorists were convicted of driving at least 100 mph on Wisconsin roads. Some of them were stopped in speed zones as low as 30 mph.
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said speeding drivers have a lot in common with drunken and distracted drivers in how they drive and create many similar road dangers.
“We’re not looking for speeders as much as we’re looking for dangerous speeders,” he said.
Police are so busy chasing aggressive drivers that there’s more wiggle room for mild speeders. Only 1.2 percent of drivers convicted of speeding were pulled over for traveling up to 9 mph over the speed limit, and only 27 percent were convicted of traveling up to 14 mph over.
“The standard now is 15 over,” Rose said. “We can’t concern ourselves with somebody going 12 over in a 65 when 97 percent are driving 80 mph or higher.”
Blue Mounds police have written more tickets for speeding in a 65 mph zone than all but one municipal police agency in Wisconsin over a three-year period even though they patrol less than a mile of a local highway.
“It’s nutty out here,” said Andrew Rose, Blue Mounds police chief. “The road wasn’t built for 65 because of all the cross traffic. Add how aggressive everybody drives and that’s what makes it scary. The number of crazy drivers out there is overwhelming.”
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj
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