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New state bill would permit use of red light cameras to reduce reckless driving

Red light camera
Posted at 11:51 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 20:00:19-04

MILWAUKEE — A familiar bill is once again being re-introduced to the Wisconsin Legislature.

It's called the Safe Roads Save Lives Act - better known as the red light camera bill.

Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) introduced the bill on Friday afternoon. If passed, it would created a five-year pilot program in Milwaukee to help reduce reckless driving.
"We have to do everything that we can to help reclaim our streets," said Myers.

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The legislation would allow a total of 75 speed and red light cameras to be installed at intersections throughout Milwaukee. Anyone seen going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or running a red light would get a ticket.

"There would be at least five in each Aldermanic District," said Myers.

"I absolutely believe that this is another aspect that we can utilize to help make our city safer," said Milwaukee Police Acting Chief, Jeffrey Norman.

Among those supporting the legislation included Julie Wellinger, the mother of 22-year-old Jerrold Wellinger. Two drivers were drag racing on the street and crashed into Wellinger's car. Police say speeds hit 100 miles per hour.

"There are so many other parents out here, family members who are losing people to the same thing, I'm not the only one. I am crying out to the community need to stop this madness," said Wellinger.

According to the city's reckless driving task force, police have issued more than 16,000 traffic citations this year. 60% are for speeding, and most of the citations were for drivers traveling at 20 to 24 mph over the speed limit.

reckless driving

And as the number of cars that are stolen in Milwaukee continues to rise, lawmakers say traffic tickets will not affect victims of auto theft.

"If you report your car stolen, you would not be responsible for that particular ticket," said Myers.

In a statement, MPD says they encourage the community to "discuss the dangers of reckless driving with their peers, acquaintances, and youth to discourage them from engaging in this type of activity."

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