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Data: Oklahoma Highway Patrol sees drop in tickets, warnings

June 29, 2019

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The number of tickets written by Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers is continuing to fall after the agency lifted a cost-saving measure that capped how many miles troopers can drive each shift, according to state ticket data.

The Tulsa World’s analysis of four years of ticket data found that troopers wrote nearly 165,840 tickets last year. It’s about 25% fewer tickets than 2016, when the 100-mile-per-shift driving limit was imposed on troopers.

The agency canceled the cap six months later.

According to the data, the number of written warnings also continues to drop. Troopers wrote about 360,000 warnings in 2018, which is a nearly 10% decline from the 403,000 warnings issued in 2016.

The patrol declined to comment to the newspaper. But the agency’s leader, Col. Michael Harrell, released a statement citing weather, construction and traffic among many reasons for the ticket and warning slowdown.

“Statistical data regarding the issuance of traffic tickets in any one geographic area in the state versus another is dependent on numerous factors,” Harrell said.

He said the 100-mile limit would only have affected the number of tickets issued during the six months it was implemented.

The newspaper’s analysis also found that fewer troopers are writing tickets compared to past years. The number of state troopers issuing at least 60 tickets a year dropped from 531 in 2016 to 478 last year.

It coincides with a reduction in the number of troopers employed by the agency over that time period, according to patrol spokeswoman Sarah Stewart.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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