'At crisis levels': New report details reckless driving in Milwaukee increased by 113%

’At crisis levels’: New report details reckless driving in Milwaukee increased by 113%

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In just one week, two people have died, and dozens were injured after two deadly crashes on 35th Street involving MCTS buses. Now, new data from the Wisconsin Policy Forum reveals reckless driving in Milwaukee County continues to rise. 

It's a tale that's become all too common in Milwaukee. 

“We see it every day," said Jeff Sponcia, a transportation planning manager with Milwaukee County. “Reckless driving is at crisis levels.”

Each incident of reckless driving costs millions of dollars in damage and lives lost.

“They don’t realize what the deadly impacts are. What the mental health impacts are. What the economic impacts are," said Sponcia. 

In a new report released by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, Milwaukee continues to lead the state for an unwanted reason. In the last 10 years, from 2002 to 2022, traffic deaths in Milwaukee County increased by 113.5%. The rest of the state saw a decline in fatalities by 36.1%. Sponcia says speeding is one of the biggest causes of reckless driving crashes. 

“That is what compounds the levels of injuries and fatalities," said Sponica. “Our quality of life is eroding every time there’s a crash. We have to prioritize lives.”

According to the report, speeding involved crash fatalities increased by 213% in Milwaukee County. The rest of Wisconsin saw a decline in those crashes by 55%. 

Still, the county is working towards solutions, including reducing the number of lanes. 

“By taking away one of two lanes, on a temporary basis, that will then force regular car traffic to slow down. To account of what’s happening at every intersection they cross through," said Sponcia. 

He says it's also time that drivers in Milwaukee take personal responsibility and slow down. 

“We have to come to grips with and take a look in the mirror. You know, how am I driving?" said Sponcia. 

It's a long road towards change, but Sponcia says it's time that Milwaukee's roadways are known for something better. 

Still, Sponica says the county is working towards solutions.

“This is enough," said Sponica. 

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