The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

November 21, 2013

Enforcement to ramp up on I-40

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is teaming up with law enforcement officials from seven other states along the Interstate 40 corridor — North Carolina to California — for a special “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign to save lives on I-40 this Thanksgiving.

From noon to midnight Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, an increase in troopers will be assigned, with a target of one every 20 miles if possible along the 2,555-mile span of I-40.

The challenge will result in well more than 100 troopers covering the busy highway. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and other participating law enforcement agencies serving the I-40 corridor will crack down on drivers who are speeding, driving drunk or distracted, or who are not wearing seat belts. The goal is to achieve a zero fatality rate for those two, 12-hour periods.

The “I-40 Challenge” targets the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving. The challenge was issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Last year, 708 people died in vehicle collisions across Oklahoma. Contributing factors of those fatal collisions included 172 caused by driving at unsafe speeds, 242 alcohol-related and 10 caused by distracted driving due to electronic devices. In 514 of the fatality wrecks, about 54 percent of the vehicle occupants were unrestrained.

Unsafe speed also contributed to about 2,300 serious injury collisions. Distracted driving due to electronic devices contributed to 717 injury crashes.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, International Association of the Chiefs of Police, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Governors Highways Safety Association to implement combined highway safety law enforcement campaigns.

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