Students paint Waukesha County snowplows, get educated on safety

Adding a personal touch to snow removal. The Waukesha County Public Works Department asked students in the Waukesha County School District to paint some snowplows. The project has two parts -- connection and education. 

Ten snowplows in the Waukesha County Public Works Department look a little different. 

"Some of them are handprints, some of them are school teams that won a state championship, a cross country team," said Bob Rauchle, Highway Operations Manager. 

Painted on the plows by students in Waukesha County. 

"It was Summit View Elementary, Randall STEM in Waukesha, Trinity Lutheran and Liberty Dance Studio," said Rauchle. 

A special project for the students and one driver, Steve Schultz, whose son got to paint his snowplow. 

"My son personally did these two handprints here and then on the back, so I can think of him while I'm plowing," said Steve Schultz, Public Works Department. 

This project is part of the Public Works Department Community Outreach Program. The goal is to connect with young people and educate them. 

"We teach the kids, you know, stay back from the plows. How heavy the plows and wings are, how fast the snow comes off of them and what kind of damage they could do if someone comes around us," said Schultz. 

Hoping the lessons stick and get passed on to their parents.

"We figure if we could get the kids' attention, then when they're riding in the car with mom and dad, when they see that snowplow truck, they need to stay away from the truck. Stay back, stay safe," said Rauchle. 

It is Wisconsin State Law drivers are required to stay at least 200 feet behind a snowplow. 

"We've had one of our trucks get hit already this year, it doesn't do a lot of damage to the trucks but it sure does a lot of damage to the vehicles," said Terry Rutledge, Public Works Department. 

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"So stay back, give us room, we're just trying to make the roads safer for everybody, including our own families. So stay back and we'll get along just fine," said Rutledge. 

The Waukesha Public Works Department says they would love to do this project and get more schools involved next year.

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