Traffic Law of the Month

Douglas County Highway Traffic Safety Commission
Traffic Law of the Month




February – Wisconsin State Patrol February Law of the Month focuses on safe winter travel



Winter travel in Wisconsin can be challenging and stressful at times, but following some basic guidelines will help ensure you reach your destination safely and enhance safety for all travelers. The State Patrol Law of the Month for February highlights state laws and travel tips pertaining to safe winter travel.

“During severe winter storms, the best advice is to simply stay off the roads if possible and wait for conditions to improve,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent J.D. Lind. “If you must travel, allow extra time and following distance, make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, then go slow.”

The most common cause of winter crashes and slide-offs is drivers traveling too fast for conditions. State law (346.57) requires drivers to operate at speeds that are “reasonable and prudent” to maintain safe control of a motor vehicle at all times. A violation for traveling too fast for conditions can result in a fine of $213. Other safe winter travel tips:

  • Before heading out, let others know about your planned route and expected arrival time. Fully charge your cell phone. It may be needed if you become stranded or involved in a crash.
  • Clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof, hood, windows, front and rear lights. Turning on your vehicle’s low-beam headlights helps you see what’s ahead, and helps others see you. State law (340.01 (23)) requires drivers to turn on their vehicle’s low-beam headlights any time that weather or other conditions limit visibility to 500 feet or less. 
  • Don’t use cruise control. Avoid sudden braking or steering. If you have a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle, don’t be overconfident. All vehicles require additional time and distance to stop in slippery conditions.

“If your vehicle breaks down, or you slide off the road, it’s generally safest to stay buckled up inside your vehicle and wait for help,” Superintendent J.D. Lind said. “Getting out of your vehicle and walking around a highway is always dangerous, but especially when roads are slippery.”

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website provides more tips on safe winter driving, things to consider should you become stranded, keeping your vehicle properly maintained, and how to prepare an emergency winter travel kit.




The Douglas County Highway Traffic Safety Commission meets at least quarterly to discuss issues related to traffic safety in Douglas County.  The commission is comprised of members from local law enforcement, WI State Patrol, WI DOT, fire, EMS, education, the legal profession and citizenry.

The WI Department of Transportation and the WI State Patrol distribute statewide the traffic law of the month in an effort to educate the public and enhance highway safety. This page will be used to publish those laws and discuss any other issues related to highway safety here in Douglas County.  Check back often for updates!

To learn more about the role of your county or city traffic safety commission CLICK HERE.











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