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2021 traffic fatalities in Dane Co. already at record high

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To date, 35 folks have died on Dane County roadways this yr.

MADISON, Wis. — Thirty-five folks have died in Dane County crashes to this point this yr, setting a brand new county record for traffic fatalities.

That’s in response to a brand new report shared Tuesday by the Dane County Traffic Safety Commission, which stated the variety of traffic deaths to this point this yr has already handed 2020’s complete. More than 75% of traffic deaths this yr occurred in the months of April, May, June and July.

“This is an immediate public health issue when it comes to traffic safety,” stated Sgt. Dennis Sieren, Dane County Sheriff’s Office and co-chair of the Dane County TSC. “We are extremely concerned about the increasing number of fatalities, despite local efforts to improve safety. Too many area families have lost a friend or loved one under tragic circumstances that could have been prevented.”

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Seven of this yr’s deadly crashes have concerned pedestrians, which TSC officers stated is unusually high. Of these, six have been in Madison (5 of which occurred on the East Washington Avenue hall), and one was in Sun Prairie.

The report famous that greater than half of the deadly crashes concerned a driver driving drunk or different medication.

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Cheryl Wittke, TSC co-chair and govt director of Safe Communities of Madison – Dane County stated the rise in deadly crashes could also be on account of differing driving habits as extra drivers return to the roads.

“We’re not sure why the significant increase in fatalities. One theory involves how the behavior of drivers changed during the height of the pandemic last year,” Wittke stated. “Vehicle volume was down significantly, and drivers increased speed. Perhaps some drivers accustomed to fewer vehicles on the roads have not adjusted their speed and fully resumed defensive driving skills as roads became more congested.”

According to the report, dashing was an element in eight of the crashes. There have been 12 speed-related fatalities in all of 2020, which was greater than double the quantity in 2019.

“The common denominator for most crashes is risky driver behavior,” Sieren stated. “Everyone needs to be more aware of their surroundings and more vigilant about safety threats.”

Last yr, metropolis leaders introduced the town’s Vision Zero initiative, which set a purpose of getting zero traffic fatalities by the yr 2030. In the wake of the latest series of deadly crashes on East Washington Avenue, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway stated she’s “fed up” with drivers breaking traffic legal guidelines on the japanese hall.

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The Vision Zero imitative consists of measures like decreasing velocity limits, rising visibility for crosswalks and rising traffic enforcement. Just a couple of months after the initiative was introduced, the town lowered the velocity restrict on elements of East Washington Avenue to 25mph.

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