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City leaders introduce 'Take it E-Z Milwaukee' to combat reckless driving

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 08:53:30-04

MILWAUKEE — A new pilot program takes aim at one of Milwaukee’s biggest public safety issues: reckless driving.

City leaders say operation ’Take it E-Z Milwaukee’ is an all-hands on deck approach.

For the Milwaukee Police Department, it means extra enforcement at four of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

Those have been recognized as:

  • S. 35th Street & W. National Avenue
  • N. 60th Street & W. Capitol Drive
  • N. 27th Street & W. Center Street
  • S. Cesar Chavez Drive & W. Greenfield Avenue

Meanwhile, the city is teaming up with marketing companies to make sure every driver knows this project is underway.

Starting this weekend through October, four intersections known as the hot spots for reckless driving by the Milwaukee Police Department will be seeing a significant increase in patrols as part of the project.

In a joint news conference Monday, city and county leaders came together to express the need.

"There is not a week that goes by that you are not covering some type of tragedy that has occurred as a consequence of reckless driving," said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Just this past weekend, police say two men lost their lives after running a red light on Good Hope Road.

"We’ve had enough," said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton.

Ald. Bob Donovan said he’s spent the past month getting private businesses involved in this project. Some are giving money to increase enforcement, others are offering to spread the message for free on their billboards and signs.

"We’ll just be monitoring these intersections and we’ll know at what point, has there been a reduction in accidents, are the intersections safer as a result of our efforts," Donovan said.

Donovan got the idea from State Sen. Van Wanggaard who led a similar project decades ago in Racine.

"We took people with warrants off the street, drugs, people that were driving intoxicated and dealt with the issues of why those accidents were occurring at the intersection," Wanggaard said.

Chisholm said the final layer of deterring reckless driving is pushing for stiffer punishments for those who are caught.

"Everyone is aware of the consequences of this type of behavior and if they engage in it anyway, they have to be ready for the consequence," Chisholm said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said his department will share reckless driving data from the four intersections after this project complete to measure its success.