WEST ALLIS — Drivers speeding down streets of the city, running red lights, ignoring stop signs, and more. It's a problem that West Allis Police Chief Patrick Mitchell says residents are frustrated with.
"Reckless driving is occurring in every part of our city," Chief Mitchell said. "It's gotten progressively worse over the past several years. In 2018 we would've had about 300 complaints of reckless driving in a calendar year, fast forward to 2021 we are already at 650."
Complaints that pressured officials to not only listen to those concerns, but to act on them. This led the city to launch its very own reckless driving deterrence campaign.
"The reason reckless driving is much of a challenge right now in this area is because there aren't a lot of tools to handle it," said West Allis city attorney Kail Decker.
The initiative, which was approved as part of the city's 2022 budget, will include a number of different approaches to curb reckless driving. This includes harsher penalties and launching a pilot program to install cameras at various intersections.
"They are not red-light cameras, they are just higher-definition cameras that can see license plates, makes, and models," said West Allis Mayor Dan Devine.
Police say they'll also be putting a special emphasis on speeding and reckless driving violations.
"A reckless driving ticket can be a max of $200, but if we utilize this negligent operation of a vehicle that means the fine can be up to $10,000," said Mayor Devine.
Officials add that this campaign is critical in order to keep everyone safe.
"We're trying to be a good place to live and raise a family and reckless driving has really been putting a damper on that," said Mayor Devine.
Officials add that they're also looking at the possibility of using dash camera videos from people's cars in order to crack down on reckless drivers as well.