WI traffic deaths on pace with 2016, pedestrian deaths up - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

WI traffic deaths on pace with 2016, pedestrian deaths up

Eau Claire (WQOW) - -

In 2016, 588 people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin. This year, numbers are closing in on last year's stats and with a shocking amount of deaths on-foot.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recorded 584 traffic deaths in 2017 in Wisconsin as of December 26. That's just four shy of the total for all of last year. 

The Wisconsin State Patrol is trying to combat that number.

"We do strive for that 'Zero in Wisconsin'," said Sgt. Jason Bakken. "We're looking for ways to mitigate these by increasing the public's information and education on safe-driving habits, such as diving sober, slowing down (and) seat belt usage."

More than half of the total deaths this year were drivers. 

Last year, 49 pedestrians died in traffic accidents statewide. Sgt. Bakken told News 18 he was shocked to find that number has risen to 62 pedestrian deaths this year, including one last week.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is in the middle of its 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign for the holidays in hopes of preventing the fatality rate from rising before the new year.

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