Number of traffic fatalities up in Wisconsin in 2012

Published On: Jan 15 2013 10:52:49 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

After four years in decline, the number of people killed on Wisconsin roads increased in 2012.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says 601 people died last year on state roadways. That's 36 more people than the year before.

The report says major contributing factors were an extended motorcycle season and a lower than average seat belt use.

Half of the motorists who died were not wearing seat belts. "Make sure everybody is seat-belted in, from you as the driver to all of your passengers. You have to remember that even though your passengers may be old enough to make their own decisions, you as the driver have to make the decision for them to have their seat belt on," said Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Thomas Campbell.

The DOT says nine people have already died on the Wisconsin roads this year, including one in Trempealeau County.