Exclusive

State Patrol cracking down on speeding in construction zones

CREATED Jun 19, 2014

  • Print
  • Play

MILWAUKEE - We all know how dangerous construction zones can be and State Patrol tell us they've caught drivers going 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.  Construction workers are begging drivers to slow down before another tragic accident.

"Pete was working, he was painting along the side of the road on 94 and a drunk driver went through the barrels and struck Pete," said construction worker Joe Kurth.
 
Kurth was new on the job when coworker Peter Messerlie was killed while painting lines on I-94 in Waukesha County back in 1998.  The driver was speeding and drunk. Kurth has also had close calls he doesn't like talking about.   
 
He admits it's always in the back of his head, "It definitely is.  We're always in the line with cars right beside us."
 
The State Patrol has noticed a big increase in speeding in construction zones, which is concerning because there's an average of 8 construction zone accident deaths a year in Wisconsin. 
 
"80 plus, and that's not unusual," said State Patrol Sgt. Wendy Younglove.
 
The State Patrol recently had a crackdown on speeders in a stretch of I-94 in Racine County.  In less than a half hour they pulled over almost a dozen vehicles going ten to twenty miles over the speed limit.
 
"We have a lot of them saying, I was only going 15 over.  They don't see it as that serious of a concern," Younglove said.
 
"We're always concerned about accidents. We are in the line of traffic and it's up to the people who are driving to know we're there.  We're doing a job," Kurth said.