April 11, 2007 09:27 am

Police department to do more traffic enforcement

The Tahlequah Police Department has reorganized its use of a traffic enforcement grant.
Police Chief Steve Farmer said the reorganization will allow the department to better serve the citizens of Tahlequah as well as visitors. The change will help provide safer streets, intersections and reduce traffic violations by use of education.
TPD has been awarded the grant by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office for several years. The grant allows officers to work additional time to focus specifically on enforcement of DUIs, speed, seat belt and failure to yield violations.
Farmer said TDP averaged 40 crashes a month in 2006. The overall goal is to reduce the number of traffic violations and crashes, not to increase the number of citations issued.
“I receive more complaints from citizens concerning speeders and drivers running red lights than all other traffic violations,” the chief said. “The traffic unit will not only focus on these violations, but also on traffic problem areas. We have identified the top five intersections within the city limits having the most crashes.”
Officers will target those intersections for accident causing violations. When violators are stopped, the officer will provide the driver with educational information to help prevent repeated violations.
The special traffic unit will consist of three to five officers on duty with variable hours of operation. In a collaborated effort, they will concentrate on one location at a time.
Citizens are encouraged to notify Farmer personally about areas of concern in their respective neighborhoods, whether it relates to alcohol, drugs or criminal activity. These areas will be monitored in an effort to increase awareness in neighborhoods, reduce criminal activities and prevent collisions.
Anyone who wants to contact Farmer about concerns may call 456-8801 or e-mail him at policechief@cityoftahlequah.com.
“Please do your part in keeping our city streets safe,” he said. “Be aware of state laws, wear your seat belt and drive friendly. Remember, if you choose to drink, don’t drive. Have a designated driver.”