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State Patrol to boost enforcement in Sauk County traffic issue ‘hot spots’

BARABOO (WKOW) — Sunday afternoon four or five vehicles crashed, causing a big backup on the interstate near Lake Delton.

The State Patrol says one person was hurt. That’s one of the nearly 600 summertime injuries in Sauk County since 2016.

In that time, the Wisconsin State Patrol has found four hot spots: Highway 12 and I-94 in the Lake Delton area, Highway 33/136 in West Baraboo and Highway 23/33 in Reedsburg.

Trooper Sou Xiong has been monitoring Wisconsin’s roads since 2013, mostly in Juneau County.

This summer, he’s going to be one of four troopers focusing on those crash hot spots in Sauk County.

Since 2016, the State Patrol along with the Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory have been tracking crash data in Sauk County to pinpoint where troopers should be patrolling.

“Typically in the State Patrol we stick on the interstate or major US highways,” Trooper Xiong said. “Given the data analysis, it deemed that we should be in these city areas more often.”

For now, this data-driven extra enforcement is only going on in Sauk County, but depending on the success of this effort, we may be seeing it all over the state.

“We’re analyzing all the data throughout the state and Sauk County is kind of our pilot,” he said. “So I would expect to see more predictive analytic patrols in other areas of the state.”

Over the past three years during the summer months, more than half of all injury crashes were caused in part by either distracted driving, speeding or a lack of a seat-belt.

It’s that behavior that this effort is supposed to curb.

“We want to be out there and visible for the public to see,” Xiong said. “Hopefully with the visibility comes the decrease in crashes and the compliance with the law.”

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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