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Gov. Tony Evers signs first bill in second term to curb reckless driving

By: Ethan Duran//April 3, 2023//

Gov. Tony Evers signs first bill in second term to curb reckless driving

By: Ethan Duran//April 3, 2023//

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Gov. Tony Evers signed a law to give local governments the ability by ordinance to allow law enforcement to impound vehicles if their owners get citations for reckless driving and have prior reckless driving convictions. (Photo courtesy of Depositphotos.)

Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday he signed Senate Bill 92 into 2023 Wisconsin Act 1, the first bill of his second term. The new law will give local governments to enact ordinances to let law enforcement officers impound a vehicle if its owner is cited for reckless driving and has a prior reckless driving conviction with unpaid forfeiture for offenses.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our communities and on our roads and streets, whether they’re taking their kids to school or driving home from work, but reckless driving and other dangerous behaviors are putting folks at risk across our state. I’m glad reckless driving is the first issue we’re addressing this session, but our work cannot stop here. I call on the Legislature to support my budget initiatives that will build on this bill and make our roads safer by taking a statewide, multi-pronged approach to urgently addressing reckless driving and dangerous behavior on our roads,” Gov. Evers said in a statement.

The new law created Wisconsin Statutes 349.03 (2) (m) and 349.115, according to the act document. The statutes amend an existing law and give the ability to cities, villages, towns and counties to enact their own ordinances to authorize law enforcement to impound vehicles owned by people who have been cited for reckless driving. Law enforcement officers can also impound vehicles if the person cited has had a prior conviction for reckless driving or hasn’t fully paid a forfeiture that was imposed.

Evers’ 2023-25 biennial budget proposal includes road safety investments such as 35 full-time positions for state troopers and 10 full time positions for motor carrier inspectors. Here is a list of other investments in the budget proposal.

  • A total of 35 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions for additional state troopers and 10 FTE positions for motor carrier inspectors
  • A total of $60 million to establish a new traffic calming grant program
  • Providing $1600 to develop and implement electric vehicle license plate stickers to help first responders in emergency response for electric vehicles
  • A Driver Licenses for All program to give licenses to people regardless of documentation status
  • A “Complete Steets” non-motorist infrastructure with roadway redesign considerations for communities to safely integrate all modes of transportation
  • A total of $6.5 million investment to cover the cost of comprehensive driver education for economically disadvantaged students
  • Requiring that courts order use an ignition interlock device (IID) for all offenses involving the use of alcohol and driving while intoxicated
  • Increasing the state violation penalty for seatbelts from $10 to $25

Evers announced a $100 million investment to support violence prevention and community safety efforts across the state, including environmental design and upgrades to prevent reckless driving on local roads in Milwaukee and to support the work of local and Tribal law enforcement across the state.


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