Dane County law enforcement targets dangerous intersections to reduce violations, crashes

Dane County law enforcement targets dangerous intersections to reduce violations, crashes

Dane County averages almost 35 traffic fatalities a year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To put that into context that far exceeds the number of homicides in any given year.

Dane County Law Enforcement is trying to crack down on that number with a numbers-driven approach known as Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, DDACTS. The nationwide law enforcement strategy is aimed at reducing traffic accidents and crime through high visibility policing and citizen contact.

“This is fairly new to the sheriff’s office, we’ve kind of anecdotally done this for many years but never were we are actually looking at the data and seeing what happens,” Dane County Sgt. Matt Alsaker said.

Alsaker and other members of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office spent Wednesday afternoon patrolling Highway 19 and County Road CV.

“The Highway 19, Highway CV corridor up in Windsor is one of our more significant crash areas,” Alsaker said.

The program has already proved effective in other communities, which is very promising to Alsaker.

“It’s great to have the numbers, it helps validate what we are doing,” Alsaker said. “We are not just out here harassing the motoring public we are out here for a very specific reason, there are a lot of crashes here, a lot of injuries that happen up here and we are trying to prevent all that.”

Over the course of the next 9 months the Dane County Sheriff’s Office will patrol many dangerous intersections, hoping that when they crunch the data they see positive results.

“It’s too early in the process to know if we are making a difference, but that’s the plan,” Alsaker said.

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