State proposal to double traffic fines around sanitation workers

Sponsor says bill is in response to injuries

MADISON, Wis. - A proposal in the Wisconsin Legislature would add sanitation truck workers to a statute that calls for double penalties when drivers violate state and local traffic laws where the workers are present.

Rep. John Jagler, a Republican from Watertown, says he came up with the proposal after a sanitation worker from his district was badly injured by a driver in January.

The worker, Mark Friend, was working in Stoughton when a crash pinned him between two vehicles. Friend was pinned for about an hour. He was taken by Med Flight to UW Hospital in Madison with life-threatening injuries.

Sen. Paul Farrow will sponsor a similar bill in the Senate, according to Jagler.

Between four and eight sanitation workers are killed by cars each year while on the job, according to the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Michigan is the only state with a law like the one Jagler is proposing.

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