Possible Solution To One Of Tulsa's Most Dangerous Intersections

Friday, November 17th 2006, 10:57 am
By: News On 6

A new crackdown on drivers who speed through red lights. Tulsa Police plan to more aggressively watch for red light runners and they'll start at 71st and Memorial.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the intersection is not only one of the most dangerous intersections in Tulsa, it's one of the dangerous intersections in the country.

Through the holidays, more Tulsa Police will be there, watching the lights and writing plenty of tickets. They're already on the job, with extra enforcement at 71st and Memorial. Tulsa Police are in traffic - watching for red light runners with extra manpower.

The mayor and police, prompted by the suggestion of city councilor John Eagleton, decided to try putting more officers on traffic enforcement through New Years. Tulsa Police Major Daryl Webster: "We're going to have a lot more visibility in this area than you see the rest of the year and we'll pull some people off patrol duty to beef up our manpower."

The mayor says she's responding to the demand from the public to do something about aggressive and dangerous drivers. Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor: "We think drivers are beginning to drive more aggressively in Tulsa and we definitely see that we have some intersections that are dangerous."

The mayor would neither endorse nor reject the idea of hiring more officers and paying their salaries with tickets. She says the Tulsa Police Department has the resources, so she's asked they be deployed to the most dangerous spots.

They'll mainly be watching the intersections along South Memorial and 71st street by Woodland Hills Mall. The tickets they'll write for running a red light is $165, for running a yellow light - it's $120.

Last year, the Tulsa Police Department issued 1,853 of those tickets, this year, they expect to top that. Tulsa Police Major Daryl Webster: "red light runners and a lot of our collisions result from someone trying to turn at an intersection and being hit by someone oncoming."

One thing they'll not be doing is using cameras to enforce the law, even though it's gaining popularity in other states because it's more efficient and safer than a police officer chasing after a car.