Stopping 'Road Rage' On I-44

Monday, February 12th 2007, 6:43 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers say a crackdown on aggressive drivers paid off on Monday. The News 6’s Emory Bryan reports that Troopers targeted drivers who might be heading for a case of road rage.

The Highway Patrol brought together 20 Troopers to work the two day crackdown. They started well before dawn, patrolling I-44 through Tulsa with a goal of pulling over and ticketing drivers showing signs of road rage.

“We just brought everybody in and explained to them that we are going to do a complete saturation of I-44,” OHP Captain Mike Harrell said.

Out on the road, Trooper Brian Warren patrols I-44 across Tulsa County, and he sees lots of people with little patience behind the wheel.

“People are so much more impatient, they're in such a hurry to get to their destination,” he said.

The rain did much of the work of slowing people down during an unusually safe rush hour. Warren pulled over several drivers who didn't signal a lane change.

"You really have to pay attention, people cut in front of you, there are so many accidents that can possibly happen," driver Carol Smither said.

Just after daybreak Trooper Warren had made a handful of stops, and together with the other troopers, there were dozens of stops in this special effort to stop aggressive drivers.

"A lot of truckers get a bad rap, but everybody else is doing the same thing," said Warren.

Trooper Warren said the OHP is targeting aggressive drivers because that's often how road rage incidents start.

With someone pulled over every mile or so traffic was slower than usual, with no signs of road rage and no accidents reported.

The OHP considers Monday’s crackdown a success. They made 111 stops during the first four hours of the patrol on I-44. The most serious violations were speeding and reckless driving.