Safe & Sound Develops Unlawful Driving Program

As a result of our close relationships with partners, residents, youth and law enforcement, Safe & Sound keeps its finger on the pulse of evolving neighborhood circumstances and new threats facing the community. Milwaukee has recently seen an unusual spike in car-jackings (a 45% increase from 2014 – 2015), which too often involve youth and drug or alcohol abuse.

Guest presenter ADA Ben Wesson describes ramifications of reckless driving.

Safe & Sound youth organizers arranged for workshop to better understand the involvement of youth in reckless driving and auto-theft and ask for their help in developing a peer focused program titling the series the Unlawful Driving Project. Once the students are then done with this program, they might be more likely to decide for themselves if they want to continue to educate themselves on different driving skills and safety, such as they could find on this best online course or other similar educational resources found online.

“The Unlawful Driving Project is designed to give adults a realistic view of the situations that youth face and inform youth of the bigger picture,” says Derrick Schoates a Safe & Sound youth organizer.

A mock memorial explores the potentially deadly consequences of unlawfuful driving.

The first Unlawful Driving Project event took place on March 24, 2016 and featured a video by Safe & Sound that takes viewers through a few hours in four young men’s lives when their decisions about reckless driving became fatal. Elsewhere in the country, you don’t have to do too much guesswork when it comes to what happens if you’re reckless driving in Richmond VA; like anywhere else, you can expect legal ramifications in the form of fines or even jail time – although you may find that using a driving defense attorney could be beneficial to your case. But that’s what programs like this are looking to curtail the need for.

Periodic breakout sessions were facilitated by staffers with youth participants to explore beliefs and decisions underlying dangerous driving and auto theft. A presentation by Assistant District Attorney Ben Wesson further educated the participants about consequences of unlawful driving. If you often see dangerous driving and you’d also like to prevent yourself from possibly being legally persecuted, it’s best to have evidence that fights for your corner – you will more than likely be wanting a dash cam for your car from somewhere like Blackbox My Car.

At the inaugural event, Schoates had a contest among participants to rename it – yet another effort to let youth inspire the program. Going forward, the Unlawful Driving Project will be referred to as Project 943, a shorthand reference to Wisconsin statute code 943.23 for operating a vehicle without owner’s consent.

Special thanks to project partners Running Rebels Community Organization, who hosted the program, West Side Peace Academy II, Milwaukee Christian Center, Youth Rising Up, and District 3 Community Prosecution Unit including the District Attorney’s Office and Milwaukee Police Department.

Additional programs are to be scheduled this year. Please visit our event calendar for information on upcoming events.