Gretchen Schuldt
Court Watch

Muni Court Traffic Cases Up 30% in 2017

Numbers reflect change in pursuit policy Chief Flynn agreed to adopt.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Feb 26th, 2018 02:31 pm
City of Milwaukee Municipal Court.

City of Milwaukee Municipal Court.

Traffic cases filed in Municipal Court

Traffic cases filed in Municipal Court

The number of traffic cases filed in Municipal Court increased 30% in 2017, but still lagged far behind the traffic caseload the court saw as recently as 2013.

There were 57,324 traffic cases opened last year, up 13,146 from the number filed in 2016.

Reckless and dangerous driving in Milwaukee has angered residents and city officials, prompting former Police Chief Edward Flynn, who oversaw a sharp decline in traffic offenses, to promise last year to crack down on offenses. The Municipal Court statistics simply reflect Police Department activity.

Traffic ticket cases peaked in 2009, when 111,864 cases were opened, according to Municipal Court statistics. That is 49% more cases than were opened last year.

Most Common Municipal Court Cases 2017

Most Common Municipal Court Cases 2017

While traffic cases were up substantially last year, other types were down. The number of adult general ordinance cases – things like disorderly conduct, marijuana cases, and minor retail theft — filed last year dropped from 13,153 to 11,632, a decline of 12%.

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.


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