Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety addresses biggest challenges on Wisconsin roads

Release date: August 30, 2023

Transportation safety was the center of the conversation this week at the 2023 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety in Wisconsin Dells. The annual meeting is hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. 

This conference is a gathering of traffic safety professionals and advocates with the goal of preventing crashes and injuries on Wisconsin roads and reversing trends of dangerous driving behaviors. 

“I often talk a lot about connecting the dots, which is really just about recognizing how every challenge facing our state is connected to each of the others, so it was great to see such strong collaboration as we brought together our state’s top transportation safety experts for this conference,” Governor Tony Evers said. “This work is critically important to keeping our families, communities, and roads safe. By working together, this conference is a chance to bring people with different skills and expertise to the table to find solutions to our state’s biggest challenges on our roads and highways.”

Presenters highlighted the latest in technologies and best practices to keep Wisconsin highways safe. Sessions covered a variety of topics, including law enforcement strategies, crash response and traffic incident management, child passenger safety, and data analysis.

As Wisconsin plans for the future of transportation, WisDOT is focusing on the Safe System approach to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities for all road users.

“Safety is at the core of our WisDOT mission. To reach our goals, we need to consider all aspects of transportation. That’s why meetings like the Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety are so important – input from law enforcement, community advocates, engineers, and others – is so crucial to a transportation system of the 21st century,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. 

Law enforcement and community partnerships are also a key focus, as transportation leaders work to educate the public on the continued challenge of dangerous behaviors like reckless and impaired driving. 

“We still have a great deal of work to do to reach our shared mission of highway safety. We can’t let risky driving behaviors become routine. We must commit to the services we know save lives on our roads,” State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said. “We must also encourage the public to understand their role in creating safe roads. Help the community be part of the solution by raising awareness to end dangerous driving and prevent crashes.” 

Driver behavior is one of the most significant factors that contributes to crashes in Wisconsin: 

  • About 2,900 people are injured by a reckless driver every year.
  • Impaired driving is involved in about a third of all traffic fatalities.
  • More than 10,000 crashes involve distracted driving annually.

The Bureau of Transportation Safety, part of the Wisconsin State Patrol, provides safety program and policy analysis, leads WisDOT’s public outreach on safety issues, and offers technology services to Wisconsin law enforcement agencies.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,