Eye in the Sky: State Patrol’s aerial enforcement monitors speeding on I-90 in Sauk County

LAKE DELTON, Wis.- The Wisconsin State Patrol cracked down harder on drivers speeding down I-90 Monday, using aerial enforcement over the interstate in Sauk County. 

Before many fast drivers may have even realized they were going over the speed limit, the State Patrol’s eye in the sky recorded their speed: “clocked 26-83 at 5:17…he’s alongside the lime semi at your door in 3-2-1…bingo.” 

They relay that information to Ground Troopers like Hayden Brown, waiting for the signal to conduct the traffic stop.  

“He’s able to get that speed up there that way I don’t have to worry about finagling my remote or trying to pay attention to which vehicle it is behind me or in front of me, I can just solely pay attention on driving and finding that exact vehicle,” Brown said.   

According to Brown, light Monday evening traffic meant fewer vehicles getting pulled over. He said the average speed he noticed was in the mid 80’s mph. “Today I think our highest speed has been 92 mph.”  

While officials said it’s easier to spot dangerous driving from the air, that’s not all the aircraft monitors.  

“Violations as far as following too close, deviating from a lane, passing on the shoulder — it could be anything,” Trooper Brown said.   

According to WisDOT, a speeding ticket can cost anywhere from $200 to more than $800 depending on the violation.  

It can be expensive, but Brown stresses that “it’s not about making a certain amount of stops” or the money – and they’re not trying to trick people with aerial enforcement.  

“There’s a big pink diamond on the right shoulder of the interstate a couple of miles back from where we are enforcing this so there’s a warning that way,” he said, “there’s a warning that gets sent out to the media, that gets released over the news and then we also post on our Wisconsin State Patrol media.”  

Brown said it’s about further driving home the dangers of speeding and reckless road behavior.  

“Speed is one of the most important things the Wisconsin State Patrol tries to enforce,” he said. “The faster you’re going the more damage you can do if and when a crash occurs on the interstate.” 

Another aerial enforcement detail is set for I-94 in Jackson County on Friday, weather permitting.

For the latest traffic conditions across the area, click here.