AUTHORITIES crack down on road construction speed limit violators

Wednesday, August 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The construction zone on the Broken Arrow Expressway has become a danger zone. As one project wraps up, another wave of construction is just beginning on the BA between Sheridan and 41st Street. Several accidents happened there Tuesday.

Tulsa Police reported eight accidents Tuesday in the construction zone, leaving one person dead and four injured. Police immediately started a concentrated speed enforcement effort. They wrote 28 tickets Tuesday and more Wednesday. Those tickets will cost speeders at least $70 and the charge doubles to $140 when workers are in the construction zone.

KOTV's Emory Bryan says drivers on their way home from work get plenty of notice of what to expect ahead - the signs start more than a mile back. Despite the warning - drivers aren't slowing down, endangering themselves and the people working on the road. The drive home really hasn't been slowed by the construction - and that's the problem. Cars are zipping between the barrels at 60 and 70 miles an hour - and even faster. After Tuesday’s rash of accidents, police started writing tickets. One driver got a ticket, after driving a gasoline truck through the construction zone at more than 70 miles an hour.

The police believe the zone is safe at the posted speed limit of 50 miles an hour - and properly marked, despite the sometimes unclear lines on the road. The officers are stopping a few people but also hoping their presence here slows everyone down. Every time they leave to go stop another car - traffic immediately speeds up. A witness said the driver killed Tuesday was speeding at more than 80 miles an hour.

With the police out, speeds dropped, but plenty of people still sped through. The slowest driver stopped was going 64 miles an hour. And police say it's largely an eastbound problem. Tuesday, there were two serious accidents during the morning rush hour in the eastbound lanes, including a four-car chain reaction - and a single car accident that killed a man. Police say they'll stay out here, until people slow down.