Gretchen Schuldt
Court Watch

Milwaukee Traffic Tickets Down 46%

Ticket-writing jumped in 2018 amid outrage about reckless driving, but way down in 2019.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Oct 30th, 2019 11:51 am
Milwaukee Police Department

Milwaukee Police Department

While Milwaukee city politicians last week asked Gov. Tony Evers for help in addressing reckless driving, the city’s own Police Department is writing far fewer traffic tickets than it did last year, Municipal Court figures indicate.

The number of traffic cases filed in the court fell by 46%, or 26,462 cases, this year through September, a reflection of decreased enforcement.

Milwaukee Municipal Court Traffic Cases

Milwaukee Municipal Court Traffic Cases

While not every traffic ticket becomes a Municipal Court case – some may be dismissed before they get to court, for example – court filings are a good proxy for police activity.

There were 30,940 traffic cases during the first nine months of the year compared to 57,402 through September of last year, according to Municipal Court statistics. This year’s numbers also trail the 31,515 filed total through September 2017.

Ticket-writing jumped in 2018 amid public outrage about reckless driving. The anger has not abated, but the ticket writing has.

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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