Speeding tickets by the numbers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Wisconsinites have the reputation for driving with lead feet, and the numbers don’t lie.

Again in 2017, our state saw a high number of speeding citations.

“There certainly are violations out there. The patrol officers between calls are finding reasons to stop vehicles,” says Lt. Brad Strouf, Green Bay Police Department.

It’s a statewide problem seen right here in Northeast Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Police Department dedicates two officers to traffic patrol, but Lt. Strouf says there’s enough excessive speeding to employ up to six.

“I don't know that it's anything that's exclusive to Green Bay. I think Wisconsin drivers have sometimes a bad reputation of not only speeding but of being distracted,” says Lt. Strouf.

Looking at the numbers, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports 167,105 speeding citations across the entire state in 2017. That's about 1 for every 25 drivers in the state.

Green Bay accounts for just 1.4 percent of those citations. It doesn’t sound like much until you take a closer look.

Last year, Green Bay officers issued 2,411 speeding tickets. That’s averaging about 200 tickets per month.

So far in 2018, Green Bay officers have written 447 tickets. Five days into March, 20 citations have been issued this month.

Experts with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation say drivers are actually speeding more often than they are not.

“It’s very problematic,” says Scott Nelson, region traffic safety engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “People are always in a hurry. They're in a hustle. They've got a lot of places they want to be, and they've got to give themselves a little more time … so they can get to their destinations safe.”

Nelson reminds us speed limits were set as a safety measure, not as a suggested speed.

“All the features on that highway are designed for drivers to go 70,” he says. “So if you're speeding, the features on the highway are not made to be going at those higher speeds, and that's when we can run into some trouble with those crashes.”

Experts also stress it’s important to drive even slower than the speed limit when weather conditions impact the roads.

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