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State Patrol Airplane To Monitor Driving On Highway 51 In Oneida County Saturday

Wisconsin State Patrol

State Patrol airplanes will be monitoring Highway 51 in Oneida County on Saturday, identifying people driving aggressively.

It’s part of a strategy to make Wisconsin’s roads safer.

State Patrol aircraft use timing devices and highway markings to determine vehicle speeds from the air. Staff on the airplanes then communicate unsafe drivers to officers on the ground, who can stop cars.

“Those pilots in the aircraft are able to get a bird’s-eye view of driving behavior, aggressive driving behavior, and things that our ground officers might not be able to see,” said State Patrol Sgt. Bryan Wrycha.

The planes have been in use the last two weekends in Marathon County.

“The ground units stayed very busy both days, stopping anything from following too close to other aggressive driving behavior. I think the fastest speed we got this last weekend in Marathon County was 109 miles per hour that the aircraft checked,” Wrycha said.

Wrycha said the State Patrol advertises the aerial enforcement to give people the option to drive safely.

“We generally try and schedule these aircraft details, or enforcement details, when there’s an increase in traffic and in areas where there might be known aggressive driving behaviors,” he said.

It chose to monitor Highway 51 in Oneida County because it’s a high-traffic road, especially on weekends.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He then contributed with periodic stories until 2024. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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