Reckless driving is a difficult problem. We know what the problem is, we’re aware of it, but what do we DO? Here’s where Enforcement comes in.
The Taskforce on Carjacking and Reckless Driving led by Alderman Michael Murphy released a memo with all the community suggestions and by far, Accountability and Enforcement had the vast majority of suggestions ranging from adding squads to every corner to red light cameras and even a “scarlet letter” type of sticker on the license plates of the drivers who have received citations.
“And the task force is reviewing them, and we’ll look at incorporating many of them in terms of our final report,” says Murphy.
Regardless of what solutions are put into place, it’s going to cost money. Chief Alfonso Morales says the Milwaukee Police Department is trying to be as creative as possible to use the resources they have on hand, MPD obviously playing a key role in enforcing the traffic laws.
“The enforcement piece is always going to be on us,” says Morales.
“And we will continue to do the enforcement piece; creating initiatives, seeking grants. I know during the holiday season we are using a lot of the OWI grant money to enforce some of the high-crash, high-traffic intersections.
It’s a good bet that having more police in the field would have a big effect, but that’s expensive. And even with all the money in the world, we need to be realistic in how we utilize and leverage police presence. A continuing idea is to improve police relations with the community at large.
“In fact the response from the community is ‘We see you there, we don’t see you there enough. And that’s the difficulty when you’re trying to staff that, ” explains Morales.
“However, where our success has come from is networking with neighboring jursidictions to become a force multiplier.”
Imagine the eyes of law enforcement expanding to keep a closer eye on those trouble spots we’ve heard about. That’s what Chief Morales has in mind in including other jurisdictions.
Keeping people accountable is no easy task. As we know, it’s really difficult to legislate people into caring about what they do behind the wheel, but getting these suggestions from the community goes a long way.
We can lean a bit on the police department and law enforcement in general, but we can’t put all our eggs in one basket. Accountability has to be every driver’s responsibility.