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State Patrol aircraft

The State Patrol will be using planes such as this Cessna 172 to patrol the sky above Interstate 39/90 in Dane County on Tuesday, looking for speeders and reckless drivers.

The State Patrol will be flying above the Interstate on Tuesday to enforce speed limits and other traffic safety laws, along with ground-based units issuing the citations.

"Public safety is the primary focus for all of our enforcement efforts," said Capt. Jason Zeeh, commander of the State Patrol Southwest Region post in DeForest.

"Drivers who are speeding, tailgating or operating recklessly endanger everyone along our roadways," Zeeh said.

The aircraft use a timing device known as VASCAR, Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder, which uses highway markings to determine vehicle speeds, then contacts the squad cars to make traffic stops when speeders are found.

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This type of enforcement resulted in 32 traffic stops earlier this month, including a stop of one driver doing 85 mph in a 60 mph work zone.

The stretches of highway put under air surveillance are determined by tickets issued, crash reports and related information.

Speed-related crashes in Wisconsin in 2018 resulted in almost 8,000 injuries and 173 deaths, compared to close to 3,300 injuries and 159 deaths in alcohol-related crashes.

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