Excessive speed is a common factor behind many traffic-related crashes, injuries and deaths in Wisconsin. In 2019, there were 21,813 speed-related crashes in Wisconsin that resulted in 8,398 injuries and 163 deaths. The State Patrol Law of the Month for August highlights Wisconsin speed-related laws (346.57) and reminds drivers that speeding can result in a fine and higher insurance rates – or worse yet – can cost you or someone else their life.

“Drivers who disregard speed laws and limits endanger everyone along our roadways,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Jason Zeeh with the State Patrol’s Southwest Region. “Our message to drivers is simple – buckle up, phones down, slow down. We want everyone to reach their destinations safely.”

Last year in Wisconsin, there were 156,242 traffic convictions for speed-related violations. Important things for drivers to keep in mind:

  • Posted speed limits apply when travel conditions are ideal. State law requires drivers to adjust their speed to what is “reasonable and prudent” based on specific driving conditions including weather and traffic volumes;
  • Travelling at an excessive speed greatly increases the chance of a driver losing control of their vehicle. Speeders also have less time to react should traffic ahead slow down or stop. Along with watching their speed, drivers should always scan the road ahead carefully for potential hazards, traffic incidents or stopped emergency vehicles.

“Virtually every day, we see the tragic outcomes associated with excessive speed,” Captain Zeeh said. “What’s most tragic is such incidents are totally preventable.”

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