Cavalier Johnson unveils plan to curb reckless driving in Milwaukee before taking on role of interim mayor
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's incoming, interim mayor Cavalier Johnson unveiled his plan to curb reckless driving in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
Johnson held a press conference at the Next Door Foundation on Capitol Drive.
Johnson said as acting mayor, his top priority is to make Milwaukee streets safer. He plans to do that with his plan called "Stand for Safer Streets."
The plan begins with declaring reckless driving as a public safety crisis on his first day in office.
HAPPENING NOW: @CavalierJohnson is introducing his plan to curb reckless driving in Milwaukee. He says this is his top priority when he takes over @MayorOfMKE’s office. @CBS58pic.twitter.com/56M0W0RPh0— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) December 21, 2021
Johnson said it's a multi-faceted plan that centers around enforcement, engineering and education. It includes fixing problem intersections and creating traffic calming measures in neighborhoods.
"We look to do some of those things on very busy streets in our city, including Capitol Drive and Fond du Lac," Johnson said.
It also includes bringing in a team of retired police investigators to lead stolen car investigations. Johnson said the city is on track to surpass 9,000 stolen cars in 2021, which doubles the amount in 2020.
The plan would create a new job in the mayor's office, someone to coordinate achieving Vision Zero or zero traffic-related deaths.
Johnson said he was already working on this plan before it was announced he would take over as mayor, but the new role will make his efforts easier.
"The mayor has the possibility to -- or the power to give some more immediate directives to departments in order to take on initiatives, and I will certainly be doing that when I'm in the seat," said Johnson.
Julie Wellinger knows all too well the dangers reckless driving imposes on Milwaukee.
"I don't even want to drive. I'm scared everywhere," Wellinger said.
Her son was one of 65 fatal victims of reckless driving in 2021. He was hit and killed by two drivers racing near 60th and Hampton.
"They hit my son's car at 102 miles an hour," Wellinger said.
Wellinger said she'd like to see stiffer penalties for the people stealing cars and racing through the streets on Milwaukee.
"There has to be something done, because he'll get a slap on the hand. He'll go right back out with his buddies and continue to do it until either they get killed or they kill someone else," Wellinger said.
Johnson was joined by Milwaukee's assistant police chief, Paul Formolo, and the director of violence prevention, Arnitta Holliman, as well as other community organizations.
Watch the live event below:
It is unknown when Johnson will officially begin his new role as interim mayor.