'Respect the weather': police use sass to get drivers to slow down in snow

At this point in the winter, we get it. We've all had it with driving in the snow and ice.

For the second day in a row, police across our area have been responding to dozens of crashes.

Neenah Police reported 96 incidents across Winnebago County within 10 hours after Tuesday's storm began.

A crash in Ashwaubenon Monday caught everyone's attention. A semi driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions after not being able to stop and barreling into an Ashwaubenon Public Safety SUV.

The officer is okay, but that made us ask how often are drivers going too fast for conditions?

"Our agency alone, we have 86 crashes to send to the state that just occurred in the last week," says Captain Dan Sandberg, head of the Brown County Sheriff's Office patrol division. "You're probably looking, at minimum, 600 crashes in the county in the last 30 days."

But there are countless more incidents of people barely escaping accidents, where cars are sliding through red lights and stop signs, because they're simply going too fast for conditions.

"They don't anticipate the potential chance of the ground being really slick, and they stop at a normal distance and it's not going to work," says Sandberg.

From December 1 to February 12, the Brown County Sheriff's Office has issued 132 citations for driving too fast for conditions or unreasonable speeds.

But Capt. Sandberg says that's probably a fraction of reality. Those are just the ones where deputies responded.

"When you're sitting at a red light and you get the green light, never assume that those cars that are going the other way are going to stop or be able to stop," advises Sandberg.

With patience already running thin, an accident or 'too fast for conditions' ticket with a roughly $200 cost won't make it any better.

"It's just people have to understand, they need to respect the weather," he adds.

Some law enforcement agencies have taken to Facebook, trying a hint of sass to get the point across.

Village of Suamico Police, referring to all the cars in the ditch, wrote: "No, these are not legal parking spaces. Let's do our best to keep it between the white lines..."

Altoona Police, near Eau Claire, posted a clever reminder that 4-wheel and all-wheel drive just helps with traction, writing: "For the love of God, please don't tell us they need to salt the road when we just watched you driving too fast right before you lost control. Salt just helps melt the ice. It does not fix stupidity."

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office topped it off with some alternatives: "Seriously folks. It's February. In Wisconsin. If you haven't figured it out by now, maybe take an Uber the rest of the winter. Or a bus."

Hmm. Maybe that's not a bad idea.

We welcome comments and civil discussions. powered by Disqus