Speeding pandemic races along state roads

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Apparently a few drivers have been testing their NASCAR skills on Oklahoma’s highways since the coronavirus prompted many motorists to stay home.

“We have noticed some unusually high speeds the last two or three weeks” on state turnpikes and interstate highways, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons said last week. “We’ve had several who were exceeding 100 miles per hour in 70 to 75-speed zones.”

OHP troopers ticketed “a couple of guys on the Kilpatrick” Turnpike in north Oklahoma City “who were doing 103” mph, Timmons said. And a couple of drivers on the Turner Turnpike were ticketed for traveling “in excess of 115 mph,” he said.

A trooper cited a motorist who was clocked at 114 mph in the westbound lanes of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike/ Interstate 44 near milepost 61 northeast of Fletcher on April 4. The speed limit on the H.E.B. is 75 mph. The fine for exceeding the speed limit by 36 or more miles per hour is $449, Timmons said.

Between March 16 and April 17, the OHP and the Lawton Police Department filed 27 tickets in Comanche County District Court that cited drivers for speeding on state high- ways, primarily I-44 but also SH-7 and US-62 north of Lawton.

The fine for driving 1 to 10 mph over the speed limit is $100, Timmons said; 11-15 mph above the limit, $264; 16-20 mph over the limit, $279; 21-25 mph over, $319; 26-30 mph over, $379; and 31-35 mph over the limit, $399.