LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -
Last month was tied for the fifth safest month of February in terms of traffic deaths in Wisconsin since the end of World War II. Twenty-eight people—an average of one per day—died in 23 traffic crashes in February, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The safest month of February occurred in 2011 with 22 traffic fatalities, and the deadliest was in 1968 with 73 fatalities.
Traffic deaths last month were eight fewer than February 2012 and four fewer than the five-year average for the month of February. As of February 28, a total of 69 people have died this year in Wisconsin traffic crashes, which was nine fewer than the same period last year and one more than the five-year average.
With the official arrival of spring later this month, WisDOT officials are reminding everyone to share the road.
"As soon as the snow melts and temperatures climb, motorcycle riders, scooter riders, bicyclists and pedestrians once again will be using roadways in greater numbers," says State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Legally, automobile and truck drivers must safely share the road with them. Drivers will need to watch diligently for motorcycles, scooters, bikes and pedestrians particularly at intersections and while making turns or lane changes. Drivers also need to eliminate distractions and pay strict attention to traffic conditions as well as the other roadway users around them. In turn, motorcyclists, scooter riders, bicyclists and pedestrians must obey all traffic signals and respect the rights of others. We all must do our part to make our roadways as safe as possible."
Reducing traffic fatalities and injuries is a performance measure in WisDOT's MAPSS Performance Improvement Program. MAPSS focuses on five core goals of mobility, accountability, preservation, safety and service. To learn more about MAPSS, go to the Wisconsin DOT web site: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/about/performance/index.htm.
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