Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 7, 2013

Close eye coming for area roads

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — State troopers have done their homework and are about to begin a special campaign to remind motorists they should pay close attention to the rules of the road.

Officials with Troop F of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol are planning an organized effort to lower the number of crashes in this region — specifically Garvin, Pontotoc and Carter counties.

“Each month troopers will be saturating areas that are prone to collisions,” said OHP Captain Ronnie Hampton, commander of Troop F.

“The troopers selected for these operations understand the importance of gaining compliance with the traffic laws and further understand the need to reduce collisions along these identified crash corridors,” he said.

“Now is the time for commuters to slow down, buckle up and obey the traffic laws.”

For one of those troopers, Heath Green, who generally covers Garvin and Murray counties, the campaign is meant to remind motorists to do the things needed to lower their chances of being in an accident.

One way to do that is put an extra focus on the areas where wrecks generally occur.

“We’ve identified the particular areas in Garvin County where we have a majority of crashes,” Green said.

“We have a lot of crashes in Garvin County,” he said. “There are a lot of county roads, a lot of interstate.”

An example is Airline Road southwest of Pauls Valley, where Green says becomes a problem for motorists when they go over the speed limit on the straight-away sections of the county road while abruptly coming up on a winding turn.

The plan here is for a number of OHP troopers to saturate the county roads south and west of Pauls Valley during the month focusing on the Royal Oaks, Indian Meridian and Airline Road sections of Garvin County with speed and seatbelt enforcement.

“We want to remind them to follow the rules of the road,” Green said.

“A majority of accidents in Garvin County, really in general, are from speed, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and improper turns.”

Their mission will be to patrol and monitor things like the speed of vehicles and aggressive driving.

The focus for Pontotoc County is to watch the commuter traffic in the mornings on the highways leading into Ada.

There will also be some attention on county roads and seatbelt compliance in Pontotoc and Carter counties.

Adding to the campaign is none of the dates will be announced as troopers will randomly start showing up in different parts of the troop’s region.