Speeding crack down in metro

Friday, October 10th 2008, 7:16 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is cracking down on speeders, and they've turned their attentions to the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

The Kilpatrick Turnpike has become the busiest turnpike in the state, and more troopers are being posted there during daily commuting times.

If you aren't watching you're speed, troopers are, and before you know, it a laser has captured your speed and the flashing lights are in your rearview.

"I wasn't paying attention because I was talking to the doctor on the telephone," said JoElla Thomas, who was caught speeding.

Like many drivers on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, Thomas didn't realize how fast she was driving until it was too late.

"From experience, I would say a fifth to a quarter of the vehicles are in excess of 7 to 10 over the speed limit," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper John Barnes said.

Trooper Barnes is writing tickets as part of a crackdown on speeders. He said development along the turnpike has spurred an increase in traffic.

"Five years ago this had, I would say, a third of the traffic it does now," Trooper Barnes said.

And with more traffic, more accidents are likely to happen. Most of the accidents Trooper Barnes works are due to speeding and driving under the influence.

"Within the last year, the traffic collisions on the Kilpatrick especially have gone up sharply," Trooper Barnes said.

This crackdown on the turnpike isn't a one-time effort to keep Oklahomans safe. Troopers will maintain a heavy presence on the turnpike during the morning and afternoon commutes, when traffic is at its heaviest and drivers are in a hurry.

"Usually I don't drive this fast, going as quick as I was today. I usually monitor myself better, but today is just one of those days," said Oklahoma driver Kathryn, who was pulled over for speeding.