Ensuring safe roadways has become a top priority of the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, particularly when it comes to speeding along Highway 47. Motorists likely have noticed an increased law enforcement presence over the past couple of months along the stretch of highway.
Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber stresses that it really comes down to public safety.
“We have a problem on [Highway] 47 with crashes and fatalities,” Bieber told TCH Daily News. “We’ve had a triple fatality so far just this year alone and they’re always very severe because of the high speeds. Either you spend most of your time picking up debris and putting people in ambulances, or you spend time issuing citations and trying to slow people down.”
Sheriff Bieber says that while they don’t want to be issuing citations, they’ll be out in full force for the foreseeable future, hoping that their proactive approach will slow motorists down.
“We’re going to try and do this all summer long,” Sheriff Bieber said of their plan. “Obviously, we have personnel issues, you know they all have their regular duties also. We will try and enforce traffic law as best as possible. If we have extra personnel on, those extra personnel are assigned to traffic, and that’s all they do is look for traffic violations.”
Sheriff Bieber says when deputies are not on a call, they’re expected to be on traffic enforcement, putting a large focus on Highway 47, which he’s not afraid to share.
“We’ve put up at least six signs on Highway 47 saying that this is a special enforcement area,” said Sheriff Bieber. “We have a speed board out here. We are focusing quite a bit on Highway 47 only because we’ve had more fatalities on Highway 47 than anywhere else. We do have officers on Highway 55, Highway 45, and Highway 22.”
Part of the reason he believes people have a tendency to speed along the highway is due to the lack of law enforcement presence until they reach Shawano County, which is something the sheriff’s department doesn’t have full control of.
Sheriff Bieber also noted that most of the people he’s pulled over on Highway 47 typically are not from Shawano County, rather more travelers heading up north from the southern portion of the state.
There have been five fatalities from accidents in the county this year.