April 29, 2022

USA: Democrat-Run Milwaukee's City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force Issued A 35-page Final Report In June 2020. City Officials And Concerned Citizens Trying To Get Laws Passed.

FOX6 News Milwaukee published April 27, 2022: Milwaukee's City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force issued a 35-page final report in June 2020. FOX6 Investigators found a driver whose record of traffic violations is two pages longer.
One highlighted Milwaukee reckless driver has been stopped 35 times in 3 years for driving through red lights, not stopping at designated stop signs, passing intersection, and reckless speeding. Oh and get this, he's driving with NO LICENSE PLATE ON CAR, NO CAR REGISTRATION, NO INSURANCE, AND NO DRIVER'S LICENSE! They even record themselves terrorizing neighborhoods with their cars. This one reckless driver was given 35 citations that he never paid and was allowed to continue driving WITH NO DRIVER'S LICENSE. Like WTH is wrong with Democrats thinking this is okay? This has been allowed to go on for years in Milwaukee. This is what it will be like in Los Angeles with Commie Democrat District Attorney Gascon in charge. Police don't bother arresting criminals because the Commie Democrat District Attorney passed a NO BAIL or ZERO BAIL policy. Criminals get arrested and immediately released to continue terrorizing the community they're in. Now the officials In Milwaukee are whining this has to stop after passing soft on crime laws or laws to favor repeat offenders to appease the likes of Black Lives Matter and other anti-police and anti-prison organizations like them. Seriously, how could they not see this would be the result of NO ARRESTS, NO PUNISHMENTS for out of control delinqents? Watch the video, these officials are shocked. I'm glad they're finally doing something about this matter. But to my fellow Angelenos, this is what's coming if we don't put an end to Gascon as our LA District Attorney and his love for criminals and NO BAIL policies. And by the way, LA Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso co-hosted a fundraiser for the Commie Democrat Gascon who is ONE OF MANY destroying Los Angeles. Caruso claims to support the Gascon recall. However, Caruso helped put Gascon in his LA District Attorney position in the first place. Caruso knew what pro-criminal Commie policies Gascon advocated and who Gascon's Commie heavyweight supporters were. (emphasis mine)
written by Tea Krulos
Tuesday April 26, 2022

City officials and concerned citizens alike are looking for ways to put the brakes on the “Milwaukee Slide.”

Jordan Morales, a member of a concerned citizens group called the Sherman Park Reckless Driving Commission, is standing on a corner of the intersection of Sherman Boulevard and Burleigh Street, which he says is plagued by dangerous driving. He joined the group, which meets regularly with city and law enforcement officials, after he moved to the neighborhood three years ago and “immediately noticed” the driving problems here.

“Reckless driving is the No. 1 quality of life issue in Milwaukee, easily,” Morales says, especially in Sherman Park. He’s interrupted by a truck that loudly roars through the intersection going at least twice the posted 30 mph speed limit. Other problems Morales notes are people running red lights, and then he points out a car engaging in an obnoxious and dangerous maneuver that’s so common it has its own nickname: the “Milwaukee Slide” It’s when a driver uses the turn, parking or – as in this particular case – a bike lane to zoom ahead and pass traffic on the right.

“It gets on everyone’s nerves because we’re all waiting in line, and then this person thinks the rules of the road don’t apply to them and they can skip everyone,” Morales says. “I’d say it’s just part of the rotten driving culture that we have in the city of Milwaukee, and it’s something that needs to be fixed. We’ve let it go for far too long.”

Someone who agrees with that is Mayor Cavalier Johnson. He’s made addressing driving problems one of the three major points in his thus far brief administration, along with shootings and policing. And it’s an issue he’s very familiar with. As a former alderman representing the North Side’s 2nd District, he had to grapple with some of the streets that see the most reckless driving: 76th, Fond du Lac, Silver Spring, Capitol.

“Capitol Drive is probably the most notorious street in the city for reckless driving,” Johnson says. “I have folks in my district or who live nearby who have told me they’re afraid to cross Capitol Drive to the closest local grocery store in our district because of reckless driving.”

Johnson sees several causes of the problem.

“I was fortunate to have a job so I could afford driver’s ed classes, but not everyone can, and that doesn’t mean they’re not driving,” Johnson says. He also cites the “no-pursuit policy” that was in place with the Milwaukee Police Department until 2017, which prevented police from chasing a suspect unless they knew they had committed a violent felony. That was intended to stop high-speed chases over stolen cars that often ended in fatal crashes, but Johnson says it also fostered a culture of lawlessness on the roads. “I’ve heard police say that people would speed by flipping them off because they knew they wouldn’t be pursued,” Johnson says.

A city-county task force with members from the mayor’s office, police department, municipal court, health department and other agencies studied the issue for a year and a half, issuing its findings in June 2020. The report focuses on three key areas in the fight to curb reckless driving: changing the city’s streetscape, boosting enforcement and accountability, and prevention and education.

Among the board’s many recommendations were public awareness campaigns, wider availability of driver’s ed classes, increased reckless driving penalties, and re-engineered roads to slow traffic.

Ald. Michael Murphy, the task force’s chair, notes that he followed up by adding a budget amendment to “allocate money towards prevention and education, and created a program where we distributed grants to 19 community organizations.”

Johnson says he will pursue more of the committee’s recommendations and adds that his own plan, which he calls S.T.A.N.D. for Safer Streets, already reflects many of them. “An all-hands-on-deck approach to take a stand against reckless driving will be my top priority,” he said at a December press conference unveiling his plan.

On the enforcement front, MPD Chief Jeffrey Norman created a new Traffic Safety Unit in winter of 2021, reallocating 20 officers to focus on reckless driving. A crime analyst assigned to the unit reviews data and citizen complaints to steer its officers to problem areas.

Capt. Jeffrey Sunn, who oversees the unit, says that in their first year the Traffic Safety Unit issued about 21,500 citations. “Over half those were speeding violations,” Sunn says, and another 4,000 or so were licensing issues.

Equally important is the need for safe street design, which involves reworking streets with a “road diet” or slowing traffic by narrowing or reducing lanes, switching car lanes with bike lanes and pedestrian islands, and creating barriers to stop moves like the Milwaukee Slide.

Sunn says such measures have already proven to be effective in some areas. In Riverwest, the Locust Avenue bridge over the Milwaukee River now has bike lanes protected by signs and concrete partitions. In Washington Heights, on North Avenue between 55th and 60th streets, every corner has a semicircle of white and green plastic rods bolted to the road to deter motorists from “sliding” into the bike lanes.

Similar arrangements of sticks and planters are found on 27th Street between Wisconsin and Highland avenues, and on the Hawley Road bridge over the Menomonee Valley. “Since the planters and sticks were placed in that area, taking two travel lanes down to one, we have seen a drastic decrease in accidents along that corridor,” Sunn says. “This is also true along North Avenue and Locust Street.” He adds that although there was a recent fatal accident on Hawley, “overall the numbers from the traffic sticks along that route has helped in the decrease of accidents.”

This success ties into part of Johnson’s plan that he wants to build on – a call for using tax increment revenue to improve streets to increase safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. “There are a number [of projects] that are happening on the South Side, near the stadium business park, Downtown near Cathedral Square Park and on Water Street, and in my own former aldermanic district on Capitol and Fond du Lac,” Johnson says. “The investments we make in infrastructure will prioritize individuals rather than a sole focus on moving vehicles around.”
Incident Response published October 2021: Milwaukee Reckless Driving and Bad Drivers in October 2021. A compilation of reckless drivers and bad drivers on the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the month of October 2021. In this video, you will see drivers run red lights, drive down bicycle and parking lanes, disregard the posted speed limit, drive the wrong-way on posted one-way streets among other violations. Video by Asher Heimermann/Incident Response.
What? 😑 First of all, the delinquents responsible for reckless driving are not going to school. Second, these reckless drivers don't have a driver's license. That should be a must have to drive period. And in order to obtain a driver's license, the person MUST ATTEND DRIVER'S EDUCATION and pass a driver's written test and pass an actual driving test to be allowed to drive on public roads. The reckless drivers need to have their cars impounded and drivers arrested for not paying any of their citations and other violations. Take away the cars they're driving with no license plate, no insurance, no car registration. I mean, come on what is wrong with Democrats man. This is ridiculous.  (emphasis mine)
Wisconsin Watch
written by Edgar Mendez / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Friday February 18, 2022

Monique Meese is worried about reckless driving in Milwaukee — a deadly threat that Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson has declared a public health crisis.

Yet she feels hopeful for the next generation of drivers, which includes her 17-year-old daughter, Alannah.

The reason? More young people now have access to affordable driver education through the Milwaukee Recreation Driver Education program.

The City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force, which includes government officials and community members, has identified expanding access to driver education as a way to combat reckless driving.

Such efforts are greatly needed because “Milwaukee is on a whole different level and has been getting worse” when it comes to dangerous driving, Meese said.

Her daughter, a Rufus King High School junior, is one of more than 7,600 students to participate in the driver education program since it relaunched in 2016.

Now called MPS Drive, the program had been on a 10-year hiatus at Milwaukee Public Schools because of a lack of funding before advocates pushed to bring it back.

Meese said her daughter began her classes virtually in September and was initially nervous to hit the roads. But when the time came for Alannah to demonstrate her skills in person after she completed the written exam, she was ready.

“My daughter felt confident when going in to take the road test and felt that she would not have passed without taking the lessons,” Meese said.

Alannah is now one of 4,855 to earn their probationary license through the program since 2016, said Jodie Donabar, supervisor of driver education for Milwaukee Recreation, also known as MKE REC.

Teen drivers were involved in 3,278 Milwaukee County crashes resulting in 13 deaths and 1,379 injuries in 2021, according to the most recent Wisconsin Department of Transportation data. Speed was identified as a factor in 551 of those crashes and in 10 deaths. In total, there were 86 road fatalities in Milwaukee County in 2021, with speed being a factor in 36 deaths.

Road deaths surge nationwide

Communities nationwide are seeing higher casualties from speeding and reckless driving — particularly during the pandemic. That includes elsewhere in Wisconsin, where residents are pushing for solutions in cities including Madison and Appleton.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes from January through September 2021, up 12% from projections a year earlier.

“We have to change a culture that accepts as inevitable the loss of tens of thousands of people in traffic crashes,” Steven Cliff, NHTSA deputy administrator, said in a Feb. 1 statement. “This will require a transformational and collaborative approach to safety on our nation’s roads.”

Wisconsin saw about 601 traffic deaths in 2021, according to preliminary state data — above the 2017-20 average of 578.

With deaths mounting in Milwaukee, Johnson in December declared reckless driving a public health crisis — his first official act as mayor after replacing Tom Barrett, who resigned to become ambassador to Luxembourg. The issue has drawn significant attention in Johnson’s campaign to retain office, with Johnson calling for a boost to driver education, traffic enforcement and community engagement around the issue. He faces former Ald. Bob Donovan, who has said “an atmosphere of lawlessness” around driving has emerged in Milwaukee and that the city needs to grow its police force to keep up.

Impact of COVID

Classes through MKE REC have run at reduced capacity since the pandemic began, first just online and then virtually and in person at 16 public high schools, Donabar said. The program returned to full capacity this month, but due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, all classes have moved online for now. The classes for January and February filled up in four hours, she said, while 800 slots for March and April have also been filled.

“Our goal is to reach as many students as we can to give them the tools to be a safe driver,” she said. “Then they can drive responsibly and on their own.”

Juan Garcia, who’s been driving for two years, earned his license in 2019 after participating in the program while a student at Carmen High School’s Southeast Campus.

He said his instructor taught him important safety lessons such as keeping both hands on the wheel at all times and to always look both ways at four-way stops. He said he’s happy he learned to drive responsibly, something he wishes he saw more of in the city.

“There’s a lot of people who really have a heart and like to keep safe, while others want to rush all the time,” he said.

The classes for Milwaukee Public Schools students cost $35, which covers the cost of the permit itself while classroom lessons and behind-the-wheel instruction are free. Non-MPS students can also take classes through Milwaukee Recreation for $150. Driver education courses offered at private businesses can cost upward of $300.

Classes praised

Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley, a member of the City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force, said the classes are essential.

“The major reason why it’s so key to reducing reckless driving is because at least people are getting a basic education and understanding of the rules of the road when they obtain their permit and receive their driver’s licenses,” Mosley said. “That wasn’t happening before driver’s ed.”

He said the gap in driver education has affected two generations — those who didn’t have access to classes and those who are learning from the examples of those drivers.

Mosley said the young people who come into his courtroom for driving infractions know when they’re speeding. But he said they are unaware that other common reckless driving practices, such as baselining, which is driving in the parking, bike or turn lane, are illegal.

“Some people don’t even know what yellow lights mean or how to drive on roundabouts,” said Mosley, adding that he’d like to see options such as attending traffic safety school for those who come into his courtroom.

He also wants novice drivers to be aware that if they receive a ticket for a failure to yield, they must complete a state-required course — in addition to any other penalties — or risk having their driving privileges suspended.

People should also be warned that if they are caught driving while smoking marijuana, they will be charged with driving under the influence, and there is no reduced penalty for minors.

“It affects your driver’s license, you have to complete an AODA (alcohol and other drug abuse) course, and it affects the insurance you have to get,” Mosley said. “With the fine, which is almost $1,000, the insurance and other legal fees and repercussions, it’s all very costly.”

Donabar said the driver education program benefits students— and their families.

“As their student goes through the program, the families are going to start learning some of it and take it to heart, too,” she said. “They can serve as an example of how to be a safe driver.”

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