Milwaukee leaders want red light cameras after deadly day on the roads

While community members had a town hall meeting to talk about reckless driving Wednesday, a high-speed chase ensued on Milwaukee's far north side at the same time. 

"The dangerous driving, there's too many accidents....The speeding, the disregard for stop signs and stop lights," said Larry Jeter of Milwaukee.  

There was another deadly accident Wednesday morning on Bluemound Road when a driver hit a pedestrian.  Milwaukee Police said 56 people have died in traffic crashes this year in the city.  

"We want to be catching those who are deliberately breaking the law," said state Rep. David Crowley.

Crowley authored a bill allowing red light cameras and speed cameras.

"Right now we're looking to lift a ban in here in the state of Wisconsin to allow traffic enforcement cameras," Crowley said.

Cameras would be designed to catch drivers running red lights and those going 20 miles or more over the speed limit.  Milwaukee could get up to 35 cameras.  They would take pictures of back license plates to avoid violating privacy. 

Earnestine Ruffin does a lot of walking and said the cameras are a start.

"We need something we definitely do cause I'm afraid to go across Capitol Drive," Ruffin said. 

Others are if skeptical cameras will deter reckless driving. 

"No I don't think they'd be that effective.  First of all you're gonna catch a guy on the camera that doesn't have a front license plate and then if they do are they gonna pay the ticket? Probably not," said Joseph Treptow of Milwaukee.

The cost would be up to the city, but Crowley said there are many ways to pay for cameras.

"This infrastructure could be paid for by a private company and all the revenue generated from the cameras will pay that company before going back into the city of Milwaukee coffers," said Crowley.

Most people at the meeting did seem open to the idea of cameras.  The bill hasn't been proposed yet.  The representative is still looking for more co-sponsorship.

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