APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — A local media investigation has found thousands of Wisconsin motorists continue driving despite license revocations and suspensions.
There were more than 114,000 convictions last year for operating while suspended, operating without a valid license or operating after revocation, Post-Crescent Media reported, citing data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. More than half of those convictions stemmed from motorists who drove on a suspended license.
“Our society is based on mobility,” said Sgt. David Lund of the Appleton Police Department. “They may get pulled over and issued multiple citations, (but) the reality is most people won’t pay those citations either. But they will jump into their car the next day and drive.”
The standard fine for driving with a license that’s suspended, revoked or invalid is $200, but judges are able to raise that fee for drivers with multiple convictions.
Many drivers cited for not having a valid license also don’t carry insurance, he said.
Uninsured drivers caused insurance rates to rise for motorists who have mandatory insurance, according to Jason Weber, a spokesman with the town of Menasha Police Department.
David Pabst, director of the bureau of safety for the state Department of Transportation, said it’s unfair that drivers who refuse to purchase insurance put other law-abiding motorists at risk.
“There’s not a lack of enforcement,” Pabst said. “It’s a matter of how you get their attention. It is a tough nut to crack.”