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ABATE Of Wisconsin Calls For Immediate Action

By September 17, 2013General Posts

Against our wishes Wisconsin State Senator Olson and Representative Bies are circulating a bill, LRB 1701/2, to create penalty enhancements for traffic violations that result in bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death (collectively “harm”) to vulnerable highway users. This bill creates a new class of citizen in Wisconsin that, according to the authors of this bill are of a much higher standing and worth than the other citizens of Wisconsin and being involved in a traffic accident with one of these “upper class citizens” should require the guilty party to pay a more substantial fine, and in some cases go to jail or prison. As you might guess this bill was introduced at the request of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation.

The bill defines “vulnerable highway user” as any of the following: 1) a pedestrian; 2) a bicyclist; 3) an operator of a moped or motor bicycle; 4) an operator of, or passenger on, an animal drawn vehicle, farm tractor, farm truck tractor, farm trailer, or implement of husbandry; 5) a person riding upon inline skates, a horse, or a play vehicle; 6) a law enforcement officer, traffic officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical technician, while performing his or her official duties; or 7) a person who is rendering medical or emergency assistance to another person. For most traffic violations, the bill doubles the applicable forfeiture or fine if the violation results in harm to a vulnerable highway user, and this doubling is in addition to any other applicable penalty enhancement, such as the doubling for certain traffic violations committed in highway maintenance or construction areas or in utility work areas.

Also for specific violations, the bill makes the offense a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in great bodily harm to a vulnerable highway user or a Class A misdemeanor if the violation results in death to a vulnerable highway user. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 9 months or both.

Please contact your State Senator and Assemblyperson and ask that they not sign on as a cosponsor to the bill and not support this bill in any votes.

Our main objection is the creation of a new class of “super citizen” who is more important than the rest of the citizens of Wisconsin. ABATE of Wisconsin OPPOSES this bill. Take Action Immediately!

Click Here to find out who represents you in the Wisconsin Legislature.