Law Enforcement Catching Up with Leadfooted Drivers

A warning for drivers across the state: law enforcement agencies are promising to catch up with leadfooted drivers.

"Ride your bike, now where do we stop?" asks Karen Walz of her two-year-old son Hunter, "Where do we stop? Right!"

Walz loves to play outside with her son, but she won't let him out of her sight.

"Between the four houses there's actually 8 kids under the age of five," she says, "We've got speeders that are going 50-60 mph down our street. It's a 25 mile an hour zone."

But Monticello Way connects Whitney Way with Prairie Road. It's a straight street with no stop signs.

"Last year our dog got hit by a speeder that went by so that was the closest call we've had yet," says Walz, "Hopefully it won't be a kid next time."

Another problem area in Madison: the beltline. Wednesday the Wisconsin State Patrol will be out in unmarked cars watching for speeders and inattentive driving.

"The beltline is a dangerous place to drive," says Sergeant Shelly Hutter, "People are driving too fast and they're not obeying the 55 mph speed limit. They're not adjusting speeds to the amount of traffic on the beltline."

Now a program in Green Bay called SpeedWatch is taking some of the burden off police officers by giving citizens radar guns to help document speeders.

"We get a lot of complaints from our neighborhoods that we can't get to or don't have time to get to," says Lieutenant Jude Trimberger of the Green Bay Police Department, "But we feel there should be a police response to their concerns."

But the Madison Police Department says that's not a top priority as it is similar to the department's trailer that displays drivers' speeds.

"This specific program I see as something that may take a while to develop here in Madison because we need to find out if they're being licensed operators on radar and also the expense that goes with this," says officer Mike Hanson of the Madison Police Department.

Still residents like Walz say they'd jump at the chance to catch speeders in the act and remind them to slow down.

"I say bring it on, when can we get one? I think everyone in my neighborhood would actually sit outside with their radar gun and help out the police, gladly."

Speeding is the number one issue in the city of Madison. The State Patrol will be out Wednesday but officers remind motorists they may not always make you aware of increased enforcement.

As for the Green Bay program, once citizens document speeders, the police will send a warning letter to the vehicle's owner.


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