Be a Pace Car, Fight Reckless Driving

A new program designed to deter and prevent reckless driving calls on individuals to be leaders in safe driving.

MilWALKee Walks and the Coalition for Safe Driving MKE call the program the Milwaukee Pace Car Pledge.

“With the Milwaukee Pace Car Pledge, the message is simple. We must take responsibility for our driving behavior,” said the partners in a press release.

The program calls on participants to not use their phone to send messages while driving, share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians and follow all local traffic laws including the speed limit.

The pledge aims to protect the lives of both motorists and pedestrians.

A 2019 report from the Milwaukee Police Department showed that fatal crashes were on the rise in Milwaukee, reaching 57 in 2018. The partners report that pedestrian fatalities rose by 29 percent when comparing February through July 2020 to the same period in 2019.

Crashes involving motor vehicles in the city are up 51 percent from 2009 to 2018. More than 130 pedestrians have been killed and 560 seriously injured in Milwaukee during the last decade.

Speed is a factor in many of those crashes and drivers following speed limits force those behind them to do so as well. A car traveling 20 miles per hour has a 13 percent chance of causing a severe injury in a collision with a pedestrian while a car traveling 40 miles per hour has a 73 percent chance of causing severe harm.

The partners are calling for a “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities.

Individuals looking to join the initiative can sign-up online to receive a pace car decal. Part of that pledge includes stopping for all pedestrians in crosswalks.

The City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force called for a three-pronged approach to fighting reckless driving in Milwaukee – engineering, enforcement and education – in its final report.

The city began deploying rapid implementation infrastructure on a variety of city streets this summer to test the efficacy of narrowing travel lanes to slow drivers and prevent collisions.

To view the original Urban Milwaukee article, click here.