Federal Grant Plays Role in Big Jump in Speeding Tickets Over Holiday Weekend

Sheriff's crackdown on speeders results in nearly three times as many tickets as last year.

Labor Day means picnics with the family and a day off for most, but it also means a busy weekend for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Overall traffic citations written by sheriff's deputies over the Labor Day weekend jumped by 80 percent over the same period last year.

Speeding citations went up the most — leaping 170 percent, from 175 citations to 472.

Fran McLaughlin, public information officer for agency, said the increase is a result of having more squads on patrol over the weekend, thanks in part to a federal grant.

"The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office had speed grant money this year that we did not have last year," McLaughlin said. "Based on last year's numbers, we budgeted more grant money for this weekend and were able to deploy more squads."

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. ordered a special high visibility campaign throughout the county freeway system over the weekend. That campaign was aimed at catching speeders and drunken drivers.

A total of 163 squads were deployed throughout the weekend. Here's a breakdown of the numbers comparing 2011 and 2010.

2010 2011 Total Citations 427 767 Speeding 175 472 OWI 21 12 Seatbelt violations
27 46

"AAA statistics indicate a substantial increase in the number of drivers on the road for Labor Day weekend as people take advantage of the last long weekend of the summer to travel," McLaughlin said.

The release said there were 34 crashes, including one that involved alcohol.


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