As of 2009, the state of Wisconsin has been promoting a new media campaign with the goal of reducing its annual highway death count to zero. The ambitious goal has seen support from state law enforcment officials as well as partners in traffic safety. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation launched this campaign to bring awareness to the prevantability of many of Wisconsin’s over 500 traffic deaths in one year.
The “Zero in Wisconsin” campaign encourages all motorists to take simple steps such as wearing a seat belt, following the speed limit, and refraining from drinking and driving. The initative also focuses on motorcycle safety with two different initiatives.
As part of the “Zero in Wisconsin” campaign, motorcyclists are urged to keep five fatality-reducing tips in mind while biking. This initiative is called “5=Zero” and asserts that motorcycle fatalities can be reduced to zero by taking the following steps:
- Riding unimpaired
- Wearing proper protective gear in conspicuous colors
- Having proper training and licensing
- Knowing and employ safe riding techniques
- Regularly inspecting, cleaning, and maintaining your motorcycle
Another motorcycle safety iniative sponsored by “Zero in Wisconsin” is THE REF mobile classroom. THE REF stands for Transportable High-End Rider Educaiton Facility, and was designed to target riders and promote formal motorcycle skills training. THE REF is meant to be approachable and accessible. The mobile classroom travels around the state urging riders and non-riders alike to learn more about all areas of motorcycle safety.
According to data from the 2009 Wisconsin Traffic Crash Facts, motorcycles account for less than 7 percent of Wisconsin vehicles, yet comprise almost 17 percent of all highway fatalities. “Zero in Wisconsin” hopes to reduce annual motorcycle fatalities through education and training.