State Patrol plans aerial enforcements

​Release date: December 2, 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. Aerial enforcement missions are planned for:

  • Thursday, December 3 - Columbia County – I-39/90/94
  • Saturday, December 5 - Sauk County – I-90/94

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.

“Excessive speed has been a contributing factor to a large number of 2020’s fatal crashes,” Superintendent Anthony Burrell. “We choose to 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.”

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.

View a WisDOT YouTube video highlighting 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