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Dodge County Sheriff squad tight crop (copy)

JUNEAU – Dodge County ended 2018 with eight traffic deaths, the lowest number of traffic-related fatalities in 17 years.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt credited a long-term traffic crash reduction strategy initiated last year in response to a disturbing increase in fatal crashes the year before.

In a press release, he said, “2017 ended as one of the deadliest years on Dodge County roads in recent history with 20 people dying in crashes; 15 in the second half of the year.”

He said that faced with the challenge of trying to reduce crash totals in a 900-square-mile county with limited resources, the sheriff’s office took an evidence-based, data-driven approach, that included reviewing the most current research, identifying high crash areas, targeting enforcement, educting the public and high visibility signage.

“This was done in an effort to reduce the incredible harm caused by automobile crashes on the individuals involved and their loved ones, society as a whole, as well as the often long-lasting impact these crashes have on emergency personnel who respond to and investigate these tragedies,” Schmidt said. “We set a challenging goal of a 25 percent to 50 percent reduction in fatal crashes in 2018 compared to the 2017 total.”

Schmidt said his office has found a successful strategy to address traffic safety.

“The men and women of this agency and others who contributed to this effort should be proud of the positive impact they have had on reducing crash fatalities,” Schmidt said. “No one person is responsible for these results. It was truly a collaborative effort.”

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office will continue to use research and data, as well as internal problem-solving efforts in traffic safety efforts and all areas of its operations, Schmidt said.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at


Beaver Dam Daily Citizen reporter