House bill to crack down on certain speed traps in small towns that
use them as moneymakers has cleared a legislative hurdle.
passed the House Feb. 27 by a 96-2 vote. It is headed to the Senate
The bill was
written to allow the state’s public safety commissioner to crack
down on speed trap misuse.
including Arkansas, Texas and Missouri, have passed laws to limit
the amount of money a community can keep from police fines, but
in Oklahoma, the sky is the limit. For that reason, towns like Stringtown,
Big Cabin, Caney, Valley Brook, Moffett, Asher and Watts are well
known to truckers and motorists alike. According to an investigation
by The Oklahoman, at least 18 communities in the state get
more than 26 percent of their money from police fines.
change all that. Sponsored by Speaker of the House Larry Adair,
D-Stilwell, the bill could result in certain municipalities losing
the authority to write all those speeding tickets.
Under the proposed
bill, Public Safety Commissioner Bob Ricks would be given the power
to take local law enforcers off certain state highways and interstates
and reassign those roads to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
the bill would give Ricks the authority to further investigate complaints
of municipalities operating speed traps.
in Adair’s office said the bill would be assigned to a Senate committee
sometime in the next week.