MILWAUKEE — This week troopers with the Wisconsin State Patrol will be on the ground and in the air looking to catch speeders and reckless drivers from a unique perspective.
The Air Support Unit consists of three Cessna planes and five licensed pilots. The planes are used for multiple law enforcement functions, including traffic enforcement.
The trooper in the air uses a VASCAR system, similar to a stopwatch that calculates the speed of a driver traveling along a set distance. Once the speed is determined the pilot then radios to the ground crew.
"They have a better viewpoint on what’s going on, on the busy roadways, than an officer or trooper would have," said Trooper Nicholas Lorenzen.
To determine what area or "hot spots" to focus on, data is analyzed from traffic citations, crashes, and supervisions. On Thursday, troopers will focus along I-43 in Sheboygan County.
"We have had a couple of injury crashes there, recent reckless driving, and higher speed-related incidents," said Lorenzen.
Lorenzen said aerial enforcements are typically announced publicly to reinforce voluntary compliance with traffic laws.
"We urge the public to drive safe, keep awareness of what’s around them," said Lorenzen.
The aerial enforcement schedule is as follows:
- Wednesday, May 25: WIS 172 – Brown County
- Thursday, May 26: I-43 – Sheboygan County