State Patrol plans aerial traffic enforcement in Eau Claire, Jackson, Buffalo, Pierce and Washburn counties

Release date: July 14, 2020

To enhance safety for all travelers, the Wisconsin State Patrol plans to use aircraft and ground-based officers to enforce speed limits and other traffic laws in Eau Claire, Jackson, Buffalo, Pierce and Washburn counties. Aerial enforcement missions are planned for:

  • Wednesday, July 15 along WIS 35 in Buffalo County
  • Friday, July 17 along I-94 in Eau Claire County
  • Saturday, July 18 along I-94 in Eau Claire County
  • Tuesday, July 21 along I-94 in Eau Claire County
  • Thursday, July 30 along WIS 35 in Pierce County
  • Friday, July 31 along US 53 in Washburn County
  • Saturday, August 1 along I-94 in Jackson County

Most State Patrol aerial missions are made possible through federal funds specifically designated to support traffic law enforcement. The State Patrol analyzes data on traffic citations, crash reports and related information to identify highway corridors for enforcement initiatives.

“We often announce enforcement efforts like this to emphasize that the goal is public safety through voluntary compliance with traffic laws – not to stop or cite motorists,” said Captain Craig Larson from the State Patrol’s Northwest Region. If weather conditions are unfavorable for flying, enforcement typically proceeds using ground-based units.

State Patrol aircraft use a timing device known as VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder) along with highway markings to determine vehicle speeds. When pilots detect speeders, aggressive or reckless drivers, they contact ground-based units to initiate a traffic stop. A WisDOT YouTube video highlights the role of the State Patrol’s Air Support Unit.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov