By LaKeshia Myers
I am not disillusioned. Reckless driving is an issue in the City of Milwaukee, which is why I am a proponent of the proposed red light camera legislation. According to data provided by the City of Milwaukee, there has been a consistent uptick in reckless driving since 2012. In 2018, there were 16,338 car crashes, 4,552 crashes resulted in injuries, which resulted in 57 vehicle related fatalities and 17 pedestrian fatalities. The proposed bill that is currently in the legislature would allow police officers to enforce those laws remotely. If a camera catches a driver going at least 20 mph over the speed limit or sees them running a red light, the owner of the car could get a ticket in the mail. This would be one possible solution to help us stave off the number of reckless driving incidents in our communities. But it is not a one-size fits all approach.
Programs such as universal driver education, use of decoy police vehicles to deter reckless driving, and others are programs that can be used in tandem with the red light cameras to help us combat deleterious vehicle operation. Having red light cameras can free up police officers, leaving them with the opportunity to crack down on smaller issues like illegal tint, broken tail lights, lack of license plates, etc. While this subject has been discussed widely in the community, some opponents believe the use of red light cameras would be predominate in communities of color. According to the bill’s authors Sen. LaTonya Johnson and Rep. David Crowley, red lights would be equally distributed across the city, at the busiest intersections in each aldermanic district.
We must begin to look at the issue of reckless driving as both a safety issue and one that deserves precaution, attention, and serious consequences for those who pose a threat to our greater good. Red light cameras are not a panacea, but a viable option that deserves our attention.
For more information about the proposed red-light legislation please contact Rep. David Crowley at (608) 266-5580 or Sen. LaTonya Johnson at (608) 266-2500.