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Fond du Lac county tracking speed with new radar trailers

Radar trailers notify drivers of their speeds and collect data
Posted at 7:08 PM, Sep 14, 2022

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is working to address one of the top complaints they receive, reckless and speeding drivers.

"We take calls for reckless drivers and speeding drivers almost all hours of the day and night," Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt said.

The county is unveiling new radar trailers that will not only flash a driver's speed as they pass but also collect data concerning traffic patterns. This could include how many drivers pass the radar, when drivers pass, and how fast they're going.

"We put it into a database and we started analyzing that database and look for the trend over time," Michael Schwendau, program and policy chief for the Bureau of Transportation Safety said. "Hopefully within a couple of weeks, six months, we're gonna start seeing that trend go down and over time, it should plateau and remain at or near the speed limit. And that's what we're really going for."

The Sheriff's Office said they hope they can use this data to improve the way they address speeding across the county.

"That'll make us more efficient because that deputy, instead of randomly trying to guess when the worst problems are at a specific location, we'll be able to provide data to them," Waldschmidt said.

The first of these new radar trackers was placed on Highway 151, where it will stay for about two weeks.

Sgt. Ryan Zitlow said he's seen drivers going over 100 mph in the 55 mph zone.

"We see day after day the violations of speed, and specifically the result of speed comes crashes that are involved in our county," Zitlow said. "I know personally the amount of crashes that I've attended to."

Residents of Reinhardt Road, just south of Highway 151 in Fond du Lac County are some of the people most impacted by speeding drivers.

"Definitely cars do not do the speed limit," resident Melissa Norenberg said. "Usually from three and five, we don't even on the road, because this is where we usually take our walks. Sometimes around seven o'clock, they usually go in about 45 to 50, sometimes faster. It's only 35 miles an hour."

Resident Joanne Marchionda said she frequently notices speeding when she walks her dog and believes radar could be a solution.

"It'd be great to have one here and, just I think self-check and see how many people really realize, 'oh, wow, I'm really not going 35,'" Marchionda said. "Because I really don't think people they see that."

The data collected won't be used to issue tickets, but the Sheriff's Office said they could indicate high-speed areas where deputies may be stationed nearby.