'Blue Day' brings out state troopers in full force to curb speeding, reckless driving

OZAUKEE COUNTY -- On "Blue Day" Tuesday, April 16, Wisconsin State Patrol troopers increased patrols across southeast Wisconsin in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of speeding and reckless driving before the summer travel season got underway.

The 24-hour initiative was conducted in eight counties (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Jefferson, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha) -- where there was a surge of law enforcement on patrol.

During a ride-along on Tuesday,  FOX6 News learned just how much speeding could cost you.

Trooper Brendan Braun pulled over a driver who was going 18 miles per hour over the limit on I-43 in Ozaukee County. Her excuse? She just broke up with her boyfriend. The citation was $250.90.

Brendan Braun

"Speed is a major factor in a lot of crashes," Trooper Braun said. "In fact, I would say most crashes."

In 2018 in Wisconsin, there were 20,000 speed-related crashes and 173 fatalities.

"Blue Day" also involved aerial enforcement along I-94 in Kenosha County -- with aircraft utilized to detect speeders. Still, troopers said there are plenty of people who just don't pay attention.

One woman pulled over during our ride-along was given a written warning for going 13 miles per hour over the limit.

"If we can get people to slow down, watch the roads, stop texting and driving -- if we can get people to do that voluntarily, then there is no reason to go out there and enforce that law," said Trooper Braun.

Some of the extra staff on the road during the initiative include captains and sergeants -- many who typically are more desk-bound in administrative roles.