Wisconsin News

Wisconsin on pace for safest driving year since WWII

LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) - This year could end as one of the safest on Wisconsin roads since World War Two.

Through Sunday, 519 people have died in motor vehicle crashes on the state's roads. Four of those deaths were in La Crosse County.

Last year, the death total was 601.

Law enforcement officers say a number of factors play into the decrease including new laws, like the Graduated Driver's Licensing, which went into effect for teens in 2000. "Traffic crashes for teens since the GDL went into effect were down about 15% from where they were pre-law, also in 2009 the seat belt law became a primary enforcement law where you can be stopped just for the seat belt violation. Prior to that we had to have another reason to stop you," says Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Chad Thompson.

Wisconsin's average for seat belt use is about 80%, a 23% increase from prior to the law.

However, the state still lags behind the national average of 86%.


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