Oklahoma speed-trap bill signed into law

| Thursday, June 12, 2003

Gov. Brad Henry has signed legislation to crack down on certain speed traps in small Oklahoma towns that use them as moneymakers.

“There are a number of areas across the state where we think traffic citations are being abused,” the bill’s sponsor, House Speaker Larry Adair, D-Stilwell, said in a statement.

An earlier investigation by The Oklahoman revealed eight cities and towns in the state get more than 50 percent of their money from police fines, and at least 18 communities get more than 26 percent of their money from police fines.

HB1456 could change all that. The bill could result in certain municipalities losing the authority to write all those speeding tickets.

Under the new law, the public safety commissioner 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, which takes effect Nov. 1, also gives the commissioner the authority to further investigate complaints of municipalities operating speed traps.

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