Tulsa Police Warn Against 'Good Samaritan' Crashes - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Police Warn Against 'Good Samaritan' Crashes

Posted: Updated:
The crashes are common in the busy 81st and Memorial area. The crashes are common in the busy 81st and Memorial area.
Police say the "Good Samaritan" accidents are becoming very common. Police say the "Good Samaritan" accidents are becoming very common.
Corporal Brian Collum, Tulsa Police Department. Corporal Brian Collum, Tulsa Police Department.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa police are seeing an increase in a particular type of car crash, and it's happening because people are trying to be nice and help others. Police say it sounds strange, but in this case, they're asking you to be a little less helpful.

It's happening so often, Tulsa police even have a name for it. They call them Good Samaritan crashes, where somebody wants to turn, and the turning driver can't see if traffic is clear. The Good Samaritan can see it's clear and waves them through. Then - bam, they get hit.

They say it happens a lot at an intersection at 81st and Memorial when people want to turn left out of the parking lot, but traffic gets backed up at the light. So someone tries to be nice and waves them through, but things change in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, a lane that was clear, isn't any longer, and there's a crash.

It's been such a problem, QuikTrip put up a sign telling drivers not to turn left here.

"When we arrive at these calls, we tell people, don't wave someone through. Situations change dramatically," said Corporal Brian Collum, Tulsa Police Department.

He says technically, when you wave someone through, you are directing traffic and that's against the law. So it could result in a ticket. The only people who can legally direct traffic are police officers, firefighters and construction workers. He's even seen the waving person's insurance have to pay.

"At one point, the companies of the two cars that collided actually went after her insurance so technically, you could be held liable for directing traffic that causes a collision," Collum said.

One insurance agency tells me the driver, not the one who did the waving, has the greater responsibility to get into the intersection safely. Police says they see a lot of these crashes that involve motorcycles because people can't see them as well and of course, they often get hurt worse. He says the next time someone tries to wave you through, politely say no.

"That's what I do, I wave and say thanks but I can't see that lane so I don't go until I can see both lanes are clear," said Corporal Brian Collum, TPD.

Police understand you are just trying to be nice, but they say the next time you have urge to be nice and wave someone through, resist that urge. You let them see if it's clear and let them decide when to go.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.