State Patrol begins aerial traffic enforcement in Dane County

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin State Patrol will start patrolling local highways by air starting this Thursday.

State Patrol says it plans to use aircraft and officers on the ground to enforce speed limits and other laws along I-39-90 in Dane County.

According to a press release, State Patrol says the new effort is funded in part by federal money to be used specifically for aerial law enforcement.

State Patrol says that in 2018, there were almost 20,000 speed-related crashes in Wisconsin – resulting in almost 8,000 injuries and 173 fatalities. That tops alcohol-related crashes in the state during the same time.

Air patrols use a device called VASCAR to determine how fast vehicles are driving below. When they find someone who is speeding, air patrols send that data to officers on the ground, who then pull the driver over.