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Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Activates Winter Safe Travel Plan

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. activated his annual holiday and winter safe travel plan for motorists traveling on Milwaukee County freeways in advance of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. With the first snowfall of the season reported to begin Friday night and into Saturday with an expected 4”-7” accumulation in the Milwaukee area, Sheriff Clarke reminds drivers that they need to engage in defensive driving.

Defensive driving tips include:

·         Wear your seatbelt and buckle children into approved child safety seats.

·         Don’t speed. Drive at speeds appropriate for conditions.  Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions, and drivers should slow down and allow more stopping distance if conditions are wet, icy, slushy or snowy. 

·         Avoid distracted driving behaviors which endanger safety: texting, using cell phone, eating/drinking, reading.  Keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

·         Don’t drive drunk or impaired.

·         Plan ahead when you know conditions may impact your travel.  Allow more time to get to your destination safely.

·         Turn on headlights in rainy/snowy conditions.

·         Never use cruise control on slippery roads.

·         Properly maintain your vehicle (tires, brakes, fluid levels, wipers, etc.) Keep an ice scraper in your vehicle.

If involved in a crash, do not stand or walk in traffic lanes. Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on, call 9-1-1 and advise dispatch of any injuries, and wait until emergency responders arrive. If you must leave your vehicle (car fire, dangerous location), get away from the freeway proper. A minor crash can be reported online at mkesheriff.org using the accident report number.

Sheriff Clarke said, “most drivers have spent at least a few winters here. Drive like you’ve done this before. Watch out for law enforcement officers who are stopped on the road. Deputies are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. I want their loved ones to have them around this holiday season. The law requires you to move over at least one lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck. If you cannot move over safely, then you must slow down to 40 miles per hour when passing them. If you don’t remember anything else, just do one thing - drive defensively. We’re doing everything we can to make the Milwaukee County roadways a safer place to drive.”

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office will partner with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, contract tow companies, MCSO analytics division, county Highway Maintenance, Fleet Management, and Emergency Management departments to ensure safe and passable roadways. 

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