Sheriff's department targets Interstate speeders this summer

(Published Monday, May 7, 2007 11:44:57 AM CST)

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

By Stacy Vogel
Gazette staff

If you like to speed through Rock County on Interstate 90/39, beware: The Rock County Sheriff's Department will be watching you this summer.

The department conducted it second "traffic enforcement deployment" on the Interstate in late April and plans to do several more this summer, Cmdr. Troy Knudson said.

A state grant allows counties along Interstate 94 and I-90/39 to target speeding and aggressive driving on certain weekends throughout the year. Rock County conducted its first deployment March 25-27, and its second April 27-29.

The department issued 158 citations in the first deployment and 128 in the second, Knudson said. He didn't know how many citations the department usually issues on the Interstate but said a typical weekend "wouldn't be anywhere near that high."

"The Interstate is only a small portion of what it is that we're responsible to patrol," he said. "The real value of this grant is that we're able to get more manpower on the Interstate using overtime."

The state studied speed-related crash data from the last three years to decide which areas the grant should focus on. Knudson declined to say which spots the department is targeting.

"We hope to establish an increased presence in targeted areas that have a history of accidents," he said.

The department hasn't decided when future deployments will take place, but they will probably be weekends with a history of high traffic, Knudson said. Holiday weekends are a strong possibility, he said.

"We want to send a strong message to people in those areas to slow down and drive safely," he said.