MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed the first bill of his second term, enacting a law to help prevent reckless driving. Senate Bill 92, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 1, aims to curb reckless driving in Wisconsin by allowing counties and municipalities to enact ordinances authorizing law enforcement to impound a vehicle if its owner is cited for reckless driving and has a prior conviction for reckless driving and has not paid the imposed forfeiture for that offense.
“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,” said Gov. Evers. “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.”
The governor’s 2023-25 biennial budget proposal includes investments to increase safety on Wisconsin’s roads, including:
- Improving the safety of travel on Wisconsin’s highways by providing 35.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions for additional state troopers and 10.0 FTE positions for motor carrier inspectors;
- Providing $60 million to establish a new traffic calming grant program;
- Providing $16,000 to develop and implement electric vehicle license plate stickers to assist first responders in emergency response for electric vehicles;
- Implementing Driver Licenses for All, regardless of documented status, to improve the safety of Wisconsin roads for everyone in Wisconsin;
- Restoring roadway design considerations in state law that support non-motorist infrastructure known as “Complete Streets,” empowering local communities to safely integrate all modes of transportation;
- Investing $6.5 million to cover the cost of comprehensive driver education for economically disadvantaged students;
- Requiring that courts order the use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for all offenses involving the use of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, joining 30 other states and D.C. in requiring all offenders, including first-time offenders, to install an IID; and
- Increasing Wisconsin’s seatbelt violation penalty from $10 to $25 to match neighboring states.
Additionally, Gov. Evers has previously announced more than $100 million in investments to support violence prevention and community safety efforts statewide, including to support the work of local and Tribal law enforcement across the state and, notably, to prevent reckless driving through environmental design and upgrades to local roads in Milwaukee.