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Wisconsin DOT issues safe driving reminders for Labor Day travel

State troopers say increased traffic over the holiday weekend can bring travel delays.
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 4:40 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Labor Day holiday weekend can be a busy one for families traversing across the great Badger State, especially those squeezing in one final summer vacation. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says more cars on the roadways can typically bring more traffic too.

Wisconsin State Patrol says motorists should keep a few things in mind when making a road trip.

With the state’s Drive Sober initiative, there are increased patrols out on the holiday weekend. Sgt. Erica Ballweg-Larsen says the extra enforcement is to keep everyone on the roadway safe.

“I’m not just out here to issue a citation or a warning,” said Ballweg-Larsen. “I want to make sure that you know what could potentially happen because it could be very dangerous.”

WATCH YOUR SPEED

Drivers are required to travel at a “reasonable and prudent” speed based on weather and traffic conditions.

BE MINDFUL OF CONSTRUCTION ZONES

Though construction crews may not be working on Labor Day, the work zones can still be hazardous. Sgt. Erica Ballweg-Larsen says the posted speeds should be followed, whether or not crews are on site.

“Wherever you see those orange signs and orange barrels, you should slow down and make sure you’re paying attention to what the speed limit is,” said Ballweg-Larsen. “The speed limit is what it is for a reason.”

Authorities say it’s important for motorists to pay attention to what’s beyond the front of their car in a work zone.

“Make sure you know what’s beyond where you’re going to be traveling and continually having your passengers help out as well for checking what your route is,” she suggested.

It’s also illegal in Wisconsin to operate a handheld device in a work zone.

PLAN AHEAD

State troopers say drivers can look up a route on GPS ahead of time and plan alternate routes that avoid a construction zone entirely.

“We want to encourage people to leave to go to their destination early because you don’t know what traffic is going to be like or if you’re going to run into any incidents along the way,” said Ballweg-Larsen.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS

Wisconsin State Patrol says distracted driving has increased over the years because of smart phones and other hand-held devices. Authorities say you should never text and drive.

If you need to make a phone call, try and use hands-free technology or pull over at a rest stop and make the phone call while parked.

If you do get into an accident or need assistance, Wisconsin State Patrol say they will be working 24/7 to help.

“If people break down or anything, they can rely on us and we’ll be out there,” said Ballweg-Larsen. “We’re also going to be out there patrolling as well and making sure that people are traveling safely and getting to their destination safely.”

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