Wisconsin bill would give Milwaukee ticket camera authority

September 4, 2019

Keith Goble

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A bill recently introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature would allow Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, to use automated cameras to ticket drivers.

State law now prohibits the use of automated enforcement tools.

Sponsored by Assemblyman David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, AB365 would add Milwaukee to the more than 500 communities around the country to employ the use of red-light or speed cameras to nab drivers who disobey traffic rules. Specifically, his bill would authorize Milwaukee to use red-light and speed cameras.

“The bill is designed to give law enforcement the 21st century tools they need to crack down on the epidemic of reckless driving that is putting lives in danger,” Crowley said in prepared remarks.

The Milwaukee Common Council first must enact an ordinance to permit the Milwaukee Police Department to use the ticket devices.

The bill specifies that tickets could only be issued for speeding by at least 20 mph over the posted limit. Violators would face fines between $40 and $100 – the same as current traffic signal violations.

The program has a five-year sunset date.

“While this bill will not eradicate reckless driving, it is a necessary step to enforce current traffic laws and ensure the safety of all drivers,” Crowley said.

A 2017 study by Case Western Reserve University found that red-light cameras changed the types of wrecks occurring, but not the frequency of wrecks or injuries.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association say the focus on the revenue-generating devices ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic: keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible.

AB365 is in the Assembly Local Government Committee.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.