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Special emphasis being placed on slowing down drivers speeding in Marathon County

WAOW Television

Marathon County has been putting an extra emphasis on speeding, because of the risks it can cause.

Marathon County Sheriff's Deputy Ed Bauknecht spent Wednesday afternoon patrolling county roads, enforcing the rules of the road.

Within a two-hour session, Bauknecht pulled a driver over for going 84 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone.

The driver was given a ticket, and as of Monday, departments county-wide that make up the Marathon County Speed Task Force have issued just under 500 tickets since June 1. Those include police departments from Wausau, Marshfield, Spencer, Everest Metro, Abbotsford/Colby, Edgar, Mosinee, and Rothschild, and the Marathon County Sheriff's Office.

Wednesday, they observed Speed Awareness Day, designed to educate drivers on why speeding is not only against the law, but dangerous.

"[Tuesday] I had a vehicle going 106 [miles per hour] on [Highway] 29, and the day before that I had another one on Highway 52 going 89, so we're seeing higher speeds, especially on rural county roads," Bauknecht said.

He adds that the high speeds may be in part because drivers think they will not get caught.

"That's probably our biggest obstacle just because each area we're assigned, could be up to 500-600 square miles so the chance of somebody seeing us, at times, could be minimal," Bauknecht said.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, speed-related crashes were up 10% in 2021.

Whether law enforcement is watching or not, the consequences of speeding could be deadly.

"They're putting their life in danger, and the primary focus for us is everybody else's life. There's so many traffic crashes out here related to speed, which leads to other issues. It's not a good thing," Bauknecht said.

The county will be devoting extra resources to cut down on speeding until the end of August.

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