Traffic fatalities on Wisconsin roads take a deadly turn for the worse

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STATEWIDE – The 66 people who died in Wisconsin traffic crashes in July make it the deadliest month on state roadways so far this year, prompting officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to issue a special call to all motorists: buckle up, slow down, be sober and alert behind the wheel every day-every trip.

“Through law enforcement and public education, we’re doing everything we can to urge motorists to travel safely and responsibly,” said David Pabst, director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “But in the end, it’s the responsibility of every driver and passenger to do their part to prevent needless tragedies along our roadways.”

Traffic fatalities last month were three more than July of last year, and 11 more than the five-year average for July. Wisconsin’s safest July was in 2015 with 39 fatalities and the deadliest occurred in 1966 and 1971 with 140 fatalities. Through the first seven months of the year, a preliminary total of 338 people died along Wisconsin roadways, surpassing the 335 people killed over the same period last year. Wisconsin traffic fatalities through July include 192 car and truck drivers, 59 passengers, 45 motorcyclists and 38 pedestrians.

The annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from Aug. 18 through Labor Day will put more officers on the roads for longer hours looking for impaired drivers and other traffic law violators. “While impaired driving remains a serious concern across Wisconsin, other common traffic law violations like speeding and distracted driving are equally dangerous and deadly,” Pabst said. from WisDOT

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