Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 4, 2022
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The Kia Boys and their fellow car-stealing pals have run roughshod over the streets of Milwaukee, leaving a trail of blood and destruction in their path. So Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Transportation has teamed up with Milwaukee Bucks star forward Bobby Portis to remind everyone to drive safely out there. Portis and Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson recently joined DOT Secretary Craig Thompson in the Deer District to announce the new partnership on traffic safety.
Control Your Drive, DOT’s new advertising campaign “focused on putting an end to reckless driving across the state,” features a video with Portis that will air during Bucks games at Fiserv Forum throughout the NBA season. The ad will also run as a commercial spot, and air online and on social media, sending the safety message to as many drivers as possible in the state, according to the DOT.
“Reckless driving is a danger that puts everyone at risk on the roads. It can include driving behaviors like speeding, improper lane changes, and inattentive, erratic, or negligent driving,” the DOT press release states.
Unspoken here is the fact that many of those reckless driving incidents have been caused by the thugs who are stealing or car-jacking a record number of automobiles in Milwaukee. In 2021, there were a reported 10,477 vehicle thefts in Wisconsin’s largest city, up from 4,507 in 2020 — a 132 percent increase.
Milwaukee nearly topped Chicago, a much larger city, in this dubious category. Reckless driving killed 113 people in Wisconsin last year, at least 65 of them in Milwaukee. Approximately 90 people have died in reckless driving incidents statewide this year.
In July, a 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old boy were seriously injured, and a 14-year-old girl suffered non-fatal injuries in a stolen vehicle crash at 23rd and Capitol.
Last month, suspected drug dealers recklessly fled the seen of a police stop, lost control of the vehicle and struck an 18-year-old Milwaukee woman on the sidewalk. The car’s three occupants died in a fast, fiery crash in a Milwaukee canal, authorities said.
Many of these criminals are repeat offenders, shuffled through Milwaukee County’s revolving door criminal justice system that Evers and his liberal allies have supported.
So Bobby, the mayor and Craig are reminding folks to just slow down, even the thugs behind the wheels of their stolen cars.
“Safety is at the center of what we do at WisDOT. Today, it means working cooperatively with the Bucks and the city of Milwaukee, sharing our resources, so that together we can be as effective as possible,” Thompson said.
It’s not clear how much money Wisconsin taxpayers are shelling out for this useless ad campaign. It is clear, as car thefts and violent crime soar in Milwaukee, that four more years of this kind of feckless response will put Wisconsin public safety in further peril.
But nothing says drive safely like a professional basketball player paid by the DOT to say drive safely.
“From the basketball court to the roads of Wisconsin, the ‘Control Your Drive’ message is universal,” Portis said. “I hope Bucks fans – and all drivers – who see our new video will remember it every time they get in a vehicle and keep their focus on driving safely.”