Summer heat intensifies on I-94The summer season may get a little bit hotter for motorists who speed down I-94 in St. Croix, Dunn and Eau Claire counties this summer.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
The summer season may get a little bit hotter for motorists who speed down I-94 in St. Croix, Dunn and Eau Claire counties this summer.
The Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation and Safety has earmarked $88,000 in federal funding for the Summer Heat I-94 mobilization that runs May 1-Sept. 30.
“With saturation patrols for high visibility enforcement on I-94, we are striving to get drivers to comply with traffic laws and reduce fatal crashes and serious injuries,” said Dennis Hughes, chief of safety programs for the bureau.
Law enforcement agencies may use the funds to pay for officer’s overtime and other traffic enforcement expenses.
“The grant will provide for 50-plus hours of overtime,” said Mike Winberg, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department patrol captain. “All three agencies, Hudson Police Department, the State Patrol and the sheriff’s office will be working together to patrol I-94.”
“There will be ‘many and lots’ of extra patrols,” Winberg said when asked for the number of officers cruising the freeway during the Summer Heat campaign.
The patrol officers will be on the lookout for speeders and aggressive driving behavior during the intensified period of traffic patrol.
Speed-related crashes killed or injured someone every 51 minutes in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said. In 2007 about 250,000 speeding convictions were handed down in the state including 145,000 in the 11-19 mph over the limit category, according to WisDOT statistics.
“We didn’t get a grant last year,” said Winberg. “The funding this year is appreciated.”
Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said his department wouldn’t have any trouble getting volunteers to work the extra hours this summer.