Proposed Milwaukee ordinance targets spectators watching illegal street racing

A city committee Thursday approved a proposal to allow Milwaukee police to ticket spectators caught watching illegal street racing. 

The ordinance reads that spectators knowingly attending illegal races can be fined between $20 and $400. 

Ald. Woman Chantia Lewis sponsored the proposal, which passed the Public Safety and Health Committee but still has to clear the full Common Council. 

"Drag racing is already illegal," Lewis said. 

"It's really gotten out of control," she added. "One way to deter that behavior is to eliminate the people standing there and egging you on to race." 

Ald. Mark Borkowski said anything that aims to deter reckless drivers from racing on Milwaukee streets is a step in the right direction. 

"It's bad enough that regular traffic is out of control. Now that you've got racing, with spectators cheering people on, what has this community come to? We're a civilized society for goodness sake," Borkowski said.

Lewis said she regularly hears street racing in her district, especially during the summer. 

She said the races typically happen in the early hours of the morning. Lewis said Tower Avenue and Bradley Road near 76th are both popular spots for the illegal activity. 

"It's not only a nuisance, it's very dangerous," Lewis said. 

One neighbor in the area of 76th and Bradley said she thinks vehicle speeds regularly top 70 mph. 

"I feel quite upset about it," she said. "It's ridiculous." 

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