TPD Cracks Down On Red Light Violations
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa's Northside traffic officers say the biggest traffic problem in their division is downtown, which is why they saturated the area Thursday.
In just one hour, they wrote 15 tickets. 10 of those to people who ran red and yellow lights.
Officers said two or three times a day, there's a crash in downtown Tulsa, which is why officers from the Northside traffic division are spending this month cracking down on red and yellow light runners."
Officers said driving in downtown is tricky because the lights are on posts on the street corners rather than overhead and people get confused with the one-way streets and are often focused on finding an address, not on driving.
They said people don't understand the law, that when the light turns yellow, that means prepare to stop, not gun it.
"When a light turns red, you cannot be in the intersection at all. I don't care if it's one foot of your front bumper, you have to be completely out of the intersection before the light turns red," said TPD Sergeant Stephen Florea.
Yellow light tickets cost $200. Red light tickets cost $250. But police say it's not about money, it's about keeping people safe.
"On average, Tulsa has 45 fatalities a year and that doesn't count the property damage and injuries which far surpasses what we see in robberies, burglaries, and larcenies," Florea said.
Police said they often have citizens ask them why they're not out catching "real" criminals instead of writing tickets. Florea has an answer for that.
"I've probably arrested 6-7 people in my career for murder. Virtually every one of them in a traffic stop. Bad guys get in cars and drive," Florea said.
They said the department has specialty units dedicated to catching homicide suspects or robbers or burglars and this unit focuses on traffic crimes.
They said they know nobody likes to get a ticket but said their whole goal is to save lives.