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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Traffic crashes kill 34 people in Wisconsin in February

MADISON - Last month 34 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes, which was 21 fewer than February 2016 and one more than the five-year average for the month of February, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

So far this year, 70 people have been killed in crashes including seven pedestrians. Traffic fatalities at the end of February were 15 fewer than the same period last year (approximately an 18 percent decrease) and one more than the five-year average.

The safest month of February in terms of traffic deaths since the end of World War II occurred in 2014 with 21 fatalities. The deadliest February was in 1968 with 73 fatalities.

Although spring doesn't officially begin for a few more weeks, it won't be long before more bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and scooter riders will be traveling on Wisconsin roads, according to David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety.

"Last year, 79 motorcycle operators, six motorcycle passengers, 51 pedestrians, and 11 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes," Pabst says. "To prevent deaths and injuries, drivers must eliminate distractions and pay strict attention to the other roadway users around them. For their part, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders must obey traffic signals and be extremely cautious in traffic. We all must share the road safely."

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