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Community members brainstorm ideas to end reckless driving in Milwaukee County

NOW: Community members brainstorm ideas to end reckless driving in Milwaukee County

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)- Hit-and-runs within the last month in Milwaukee have accounted for three deaths, including two kids.

On Tuesday Nov. 12, the Milwaukee City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force held their first ever listening session, hoping to reduce the dangerous driving epidemic in the city.

City leaders say reckless driving is definitely an epidemic in Milwaukee County. In a five-year span, there have been nearly 230,000 traffic offense cases. The task force says a high number are considered reckless driving.

The task force created in January is made up of city leaders, judges, law enforcement and safety advocates. Their goal is to ultimately make Milwaukee County streets safer.

”It’s outrageous, and it’s costing people lives,” said Judge Derek Mosley with the Milwaukee City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force. “It’s costing the city money with damages from people hitting light poles and hitting other vehicles, it’s got to stop.”

From 2014 to 2017 more than 1,300 felony traffic cases were filed in the county, and more than 700 carjackings happened in Milwaukee in a two-year span.

The task force hopes to reduce those numbers by getting community input.

“This is really an opportunity for citizens to tell us what they think would make a difference in improving driving conditions in the city of Milwaukee and changing people’s behavior,” said Ald. Michael Murphy, Chair of the Milwaukee City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force.  

During the listening session, groups threw out ideas including putting limitation sticks to reduce drivers from utilizing bike lanes, and putting educational signage on street corners so drivers would go slower.

The task force has three subcommittees dedicated to enforcement, engineering and education. Ideas brainstormed by the community will be combined with the recommendations of the task force.

”Narrowing the roadway forcing drivers to slow down because of the engineering changes to the streets,” said Ald. Murphy.

”I want to educate the youth especially on the rules of the road,” said Judge Mosley. “I see it every day in court. They’re not familiar with what the rules of the road are.”

Ald. Murphy says the city has allocated money in the budget to help with some of the projects, but state assistance is needed.

”We’ve asked the governor for resources to help us, because we need additional funding,” said Ald. Murphy.  

Ald. Murphy says there will be one more listening session Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at Rufus King High School. The task force hopes to have a final plan in place by the end of the year.

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