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Saturday, June 25, 2022

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Police enforcement increasing on Madison roads as serious injuries and fatalities rise

Madison police have increased their enforcement efforts by 135% on E. Washington Avenue compared to this time last year.

The Madison Police Department is cracking down on dangerous driving habits, focusing on speeding, racing and red light violations as well as reckless and drunk driving.

The department has increased their enforcement by 135% on E. Washington Avenue compared to this time last year. There have been 18 serious injuries and 5 deaths compared to last year's 11 injuries and 1 death. 

The increase in enforcement has led to a 25% increase in tickets and warnings compared to 2021. The MPD’s intent with this increase is to stop further car accidents from occurring. 

Most of these accidents occur because people are not following the posted speed limits and participating in aggressive driving. The majority of these car accidents are occurring on East Washington Avenue, the Beltline and Mineral Point Road, according to Police Chief Shon Barnes.   

“I can tell you, personally, that not a day goes by that someone does not talk to me about one of these different violations that I just discussed, specifically racing and racing along East Washington,” Barnes said.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is focused on a data-driven strategy intended to eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries on city streets, and also improve pedestrian and bike safety to prevent avoidable fatal crashes.

“If you are going to get behind the wheel of a car: Please drive safely. Please prioritize people in your actions,” Rhodes-Conway said at a briefing on Thursday.

Barnes has already seen two “very serious” crashes this year on the three identified roads this year, warning that dangerous driving habits put others at risk.

“I want to assure our community that there will be no racing season this year. Racing season has been canceled,” Barnes said

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