OHP Enforcing Tough Penalties Under New Traffic Laws

Wednesday, January 16th 2013, 5:09 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the grace period is now aggressively enforcing a law that targets reckless driving.

If you break that law, it could cost you your driver's license. The law carries tough penalties for certain traffic violations. It was passed in Oklahoma more than a year ago under House Bill 1507, but there was a 14-month grace period.

Now the highway patrol is aggressively enforcing it, meaning drivers who break the law could lose their license for an entire year.

Heavier traffic laws are in effect all across Oklahoma. OHP is cracking down on reckless driving.

"On new traffic laws, we usually do give a break-in period for people before we heavily start aggressively enforcing it," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown said.

The law was passed in Nov. 2011, but many drivers today don't even know it exists. And it carries big consequences.

Your license will be revoked if you're convicted of any of these three violations: Reckless driving without regard to others' safety, ignoring a traffic signal or stop sign when it results in a serious injury crash, and failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children.

"They definitely need to do something about that because I see that a lot, people getting in a hurry," OKC driver Mary Jones said.

"School buses - that's out of the question. You don't speed past school buses," OKC driver Rick Scherler said.

As far as reckless driving violations, those are up to the officer or trooper to decide. Some drivers say the law needs to be clearer.

"If someone slightly goes over the centerline, and they want to call that reckless driving and you lose your license for a year, I believe in sanctions in degrees that match the facts. I'm not sure in every instance that's going to be the case," Nick Slaymaker said.

OHP says most reckless driving involves a combination of things like speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving. If your license is revoked under the law, you also face an existing $249 fine. For violators who are convicted, there's no exception to having your license revoked.

DPS sends a 30-day notice of license revocation to the last known address of the licensee.