Oklahoma shuts down speed traps

| 1/2/2007

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has designated three towns - Caney, Moffett and Stringtown - as speed traps, and has forced two of them to shut down their enforcement on nearby highways.

The decision relates to a 2003 Oklahoma state law, which stipulates that if a town derives more than 50 percent of its operating revenue from speeding tickets, the state can prevent the town from using radar on highways.

One of the towns where radar is now off-limits is Caney, which has a population of about 200 people. It is just off of Highway 69 in Atoka County. According to The Associated Press, Caney derived 64 percent of its operating revenues in 2005 from its speed traps.

Fred Gravett, an OOIDA member from Atoka, OK, said the town started out with one officer running radar.

"Business was so good, they bought another trooper car and hired two more cops," Gravett said. "The next thing you know, they're driving brand-new SUVs. They're doing OK for themselves, writing tickets right and left."

The town of Moffet, in Sequoyah County, has also lost its right to run radar on a nearby highway. An official announcement regarding a shutdown of Stringtown's enforcement has not been made.

- By Reed Black, staff writer