Reckless Driving Mini-Grants

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) has created a grant program for Milwaukee non-profit and community-based organizations to execute programs or messaging aimed at reducing reckless driving in the City. Grant awards are available from $1,000 up to $5,000, with a total distribution amount up to $100,000.

The grant program seeks to reduce reckless driving behavior and decrease the number of resulting traffic crashes by creating safer streets, fostering community involvement, and building awareness around the dangers and impacts of reckless driving. Grants are available to distribute messaging around the dangers and impacts of reckless driving, organize events to educate and encourage safe driving behaviors, and/or implement tactical traffic calming measures. Creative thinking and innovative ideas to reduce reckless driving are encouraged.



According to Wisconsin state law, reckless driving is defined as the “negligent operation” of a vehicle that puts other people’s safety in danger. Reckless driving behaviors include:

• Failing to yield to people crossing the street

• Failure to obey traffic signs or signals

• Driving distracted

• Speeding

• Swerving, weaving, or unsafe passing

• Driving in areas not intended for vehicles

In recent years, there has been an increase in reckless driving behavior and crashes. In 2018, there were over 16,000 crashes in Milwaukee, and about a quarter of the crashes resulted in injury. The top causes were reckless driving behaviors including failure to yield, speeding, and disregard for traffic controls with many of these crashes classified as hit-and-run. Crashes involving people walking were over two times more frequent than crashes involving buses, motorcyclists, or people biking. Additionally, geographic and racial inequities further the disparity for those affected by reckless driving.

In response to the rise in reckless driving crashes, the City and County partnered to create the City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force in early 2019. In June 2020, the Task Force released a report with activities, findings, and recommendations to address the dangerous driving behaviors. Locally and nationally, communities are working to mitigate reckless driving. Examples of programs are provided in Appendix A for reference.



501(c)(3) and other Community-Based Organizations within the City of Milwaukee are eligible for the grant award and the Grant programs must take place within the City.

Eligible grant programs may include but are not limited to:

• Crosswalk compliance awareness and education activities or events

• Safe driving events (e.g. Safe Streets Rally)

• Physical message campaign (banners, billboards, brochures)

• Digital message campaign (social media, video)

• Art installation (mural, stenciling)

• Safe driving pledge

• Establish traffic calming library

• Painted intersection or crosswalk

More information can be found in the Program Information document below.



Call for Application

February 15, 2021 – March 15, 2021

Informational Session

February 26, 2021, 2-3PM

Grant Application Due

March 15, 2021 by 5PM

Grant Review

March 15, 2021 – April 4, 2021

Grant Winners Notified

April 5, 2021

Funds Distribution

April – May, 2021

Grant Program Implementation

From Funds Distribution – October 1, 2021

Reporting Due

Due within 30 days of event or by Monday, November 1, 2021


Application Documents

Detailed information on the program can be found here (Spanish)

Program Application (Spanish)

Informational Session

An optional informational session for interested participants was held virtually on Friday, February 26, 2021. The audio of the meeting is available to access here (presentation begins at the 7:30 mark).


Contact Us


 Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building 841 North Broadway, Room 501 Milwaukee, WI 53202 

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