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Bill would bring red light cameras to Milwaukee

A new Wisconsin bill introduced by Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwuakee, would give Milwaukee the ability to add cameras in the city to give out tickets to people speeding and running red lights.

Current state law does not allow cities to do either of those.

People who want the cameras say the benefits are obvious.

"I think it would at least help put that reminder and fear into people, I think right now you have a lot of people who know they won't get pulled over," said Jake Newborn, who attended the conference. "So they run lights, they take very risky behavior."

Crowley said it would save lives all over the Milwaukee area.

"Because it doesn't just affect those who live here," Crowley said. "It affects those who commute here, who work here, who come and enjoy the city of Milwaukee."

The plan would install up to 35 cameras in the city, and give tickets to anyone driving more than 20 miles over the speed limit. Crowley said he's not sure if Republicans will be on board.

"People may think that it's a privacy issue, and people may think that we're just using this to generate revenue in the city, but we're not."

Similar systems have generated legal problems for other cities. Chicago recently paid more than $38 million in a settlement over red light cameras. Alderman Terry Witkowski says it's up to the city to make sure the goal is to save lives, not to make money.

"Are there cities that have had problems? Yes," Witkowski said. "But a system that is fair, and is well studied to start with should not have any problems, and there are those cities throughout the U.S."

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