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Lt. Ducane Is New Traffic Safety Commission Chair

At the Marinette County Traffic Safety Commission meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8, Sheriff Jerry Sauve appointed Lt. Jason Ducane as County Highway Safety Coordinator to serve on the Safety Commission.

That action was followed by election of officers for the group. Lt. Jim Albright nominated Ducane, with a second from the sheriff, and vote in favor was unanimous. Motion then was made by Albright, seconded by Highway Commissioner Ray Palonen, to nominate Sheriff Sauve for the vice chair position, and that vote also was unanimous.

Albright, who had opened the meeting, stepped down. The only item remaining on the agenda was suggesting future meeting items, and a Crash Map will be on the agenda for the next quarterly meeting, which will be on Wednesday, May 10 at 10 a.m.

Commission members thanked Albright for his many years of service to the as Law Enforcement Representative, Highway Safety Coordinator, and Chairperson.

Present for the 10 a.m. meeting at the Marinette County Law Enforcement Center in addition to Ducane, Sauve, Albright and Palonen were Sgt. Mike Galvan of Wisconsin State Patrol; Russ Bauer, chair of the Marinette County Highway Committee; Randy Asman, Wisconsin Department of Transportation; Sheriff Sauve; Sgt. Joe Nault, Marinette City Police; Tom Westlund of Westlund Bus Lines; Coleman Police Chief Ida Soletske; Mike Panosh, Bureau of Traffic Safety; Dr. Dean Magnin, Medical; Rick Ahrens, Education; District Attorney Allen Brey, Legal; Rick Olig, Consultant/BOTS LE Liaison and Fae Olson, Secretary.

Olig gave an informative presentation on guidelines for Traffic Safety Commission meetings. Wisconsin is the only state to have guidelines. He said 86% of crashes in Wisconsin are behavioral - involving drinking, speed, inattentive driving, etc. He discussed what are the dynamics of a crash and what can be done to correct situations to prevent future crashes.

Committee members thanked Olig for his input. Olig commented that Marinette County Traffic Safety Commission is an effective group that follows the proper guidelines.

There were suggestions to look into possibility of having alternates substitute for members not able to attend a meeting, but no action was taken.

Palonen reported that he had accepted a new position in Winnebago County and would be leaving Marinette County. He thanked commissioners for their support. He said Law Enforcement presence in work zones is effective and much appreciated by highway workers.

Galvan commented the two newest troopers on the State Patrol are doing well and enjoy working in Marinette County.

Nault stated the railroad/pedestrian incident in the City of Marinette is still under investigation.

In the School Related Traffic Report, Westlund commented winter conditions have been bad this season for bus travel. He said the new pull- outs on Hwy. 180 work well and appreciated, but the new bus light system (with yellow lights 300 feet and red lights 100 feet before stopping) is causing issues with people running yellow lights.

Asman informed the committee about the 511 System (511wi.org), an app/website set up by the DOT to post information on upcoming roadwork, closures, weather conditions, and road conditions, so people can make better decisions for traveling. People can also use the WAZE app or Google Maps for updated information.

According to Marinette County Sheriff's Office Traffic Report there were five traffic fatalities in Marinette County in 2016.

Statewide there were 22 ATV fatalities in 2016, up just slightly from 20 in 2015.


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