Several speed traps are back. State lawmakers have repealed legislation that designated five Oklahoma communities as speed traps. Police in these areas are once again allowed to issue tickets on highways that run through their city limits. They say it will help them keep their towns safe. The News On 6â€™s Chris Wright reports business owners though are urging the police to keep their ticket-writing under control.
The signs in Big Cabin still warn drivers about it, but lawmakers have decided that a stretch of U.S. Higway 69 where the speed limit quickly drops from 65 mph to 45 mph is no longer a speed trap. After complaints that police were stopping too many drivers, officers were no longer allowed to ticket speeders on the highway or collect more than half of their revenue from tickets. Those restrictions have all been lifted.
"I'm excited that we have some senators and congressman who have seen and wanted to fix a problem we had," Big Cabin Police Chief David Dubois.
Dubois contends that his town was never a speed trap. He says his officers monitor a dangerous stretch of highway, and the heavy ticketing was intended to reduce accidents.
"We never really did it for revenue,â€ said Dubois. â€œThat's what I said all along. We did it for protection."
Tom Polk works at the truck plaza that put up the warning signs. He says before the town was designated a speed trap, so many tickets were issued that truckers avoided Big Cabin, and the business suffered. He hopes that doesn't happen again.
"I think the police department will use good judgment and good common sense, and not let that get out of hand again," said Polk.
Chief Dubois promises his department will not get out of hand. He says if he chooses to go after a speeder, it will be because the driver deserves to be pulled over.
"Now I can be out there actively patrolling myself and hopefully save a life," Dubois said.
The owners of those â€˜Speed Trap Aheadâ€™ signs plan on changing them to read 'Welcome, Speed Zone Ahead.'
The chief of police says those signs actually help him out, because most people slow down once they see them.
Watch the video:Speed Trap Restrictions Repealed
5/15/2006 - Big Cabin Awaits 'Speed Trap' Investigation
6/30/2006 - Hulbert's Speed Enforcement Reputation Continues
1/3/2007 - State Tells Webbers Falls To Stop Patrolling On I-40
3/14/2007 - Roland Police Issued A Warning