In 2017 Dodge County observed an unusually large spike in traffic fatalities, especially in the second half of the year. The year-end totals were almost double the five year average, according to Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt. In response to this spike in crashes, research was conducted and a crash initiative was started in November 2017 just before the holidays. This was a comprehensive long term strategy that involved many facets including but not limited to traffic enforcement, education and working with other stakeholders.
As part of this strategy, historically high crash areas were targeted for regular traffic enforcement including using signs to notify motorists of the dangers of these areas as well as in hopes of gaining the voluntary compliance of drivers.
“The signs used were effective but quickly wore out. Very soon the public can expect to see new signs being rotated through various areas of the county,” Schmidt said. “This was always part of the plan as we applied for funding through a grant for extra signage, an important part of the strategy.”
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office continues to modify their approach based on the most up to date data to identify the highest crash areas and improve their tactics. Dodge County Sheriff’s Office employees will be continuing enforcement efforts and once again ask for the public’s help.
“As we are getting into the time of year that witnessed the most fatal crashes we are renewing our plea for everyone to slow down, which significantly increases the chances of fatal outcomes,” Schmidt said. “Often a few inches can mean the difference between a near miss and a serious crash.”
Schmidt reminded motorists not to drive impaired with drugs, alcohol and even legal prescriptions which can lead to a deadly outcome; always make complete stops and make sure you are clear to proceed before doing so and do not allow yourself to be distracted while driving.