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July 02, 2020, 03:55:50 pm
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Author Topic: Bogus Construction Zones  (Read 1643 times)
T-Town Elder
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Posts: 7534

These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« on: March 11, 2006, 11:58:25 pm »

I asked about default speed limits (in another thread) after seeing the report on Fox23 about motorists upset with a sting operation where TPD's cycle cops ticketed motorists as they drove at normal speeds through a recently decommissioned construction zone.

The video showed some 45MPH limit signs stacked horizontally on the ground awaiting pickup (along with the remaining orange barrels along the shoulder), but an unhappy motorists claims police told him that "posted" speed is in effect until the normal speed limit signs are replaced.

OK, so that's not exactly the way state law is written.

...and it's not nearly as bad as what I saw once driving through Tennessee, where it was the practice of certain agencies to set up a few barrels and cones on a perfectly good highway, and hide a black-and-white behind the biggest sign.  Sometime afterward I understand the definition of "construction zone" was clarified to mean  that there was actually construction taking place, and workers present.

Anyway, when speed limit signs are absent (i.e., damaged, missing or laid flat on the frickin' ground), Oklahoma statutes provide for default limits for given road uses -- 75 MPH on turnpikes, 55 on county roads, 25 in school zones, etc., and 70 on 4-lane divideds unless otherwise posted.  That 'otherwise' was amended a few years back to include construction zones that are clearly posted as such, with work in progress and workers present.  

The two relevant statutes below:
(default speed limit)
Oklahoma Statutes, Title 47. Chapter 11 Article 8 Section 11-801

B. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection A of this section, the limits specified in this act or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits:
2. Seventy (70) miles per hour in locations which are:
a. four-lane divided highways including, but not limited to, the interstate highway system

(construction zone defined)
Oklahoma Statutes, Title 47. Chapter 11 Article 8 Section 11-806

C. Where any state or federal highway shall be under construction or repair or a detour shall have been designated by reason of construction or repairs in progress and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation shall have determined a maximum safe, careful and prudent speed on the highway or detour during the period of the construction or repairs and shall have plainly posted at each terminus thereof and at not less than each half mile along the route thereof the determined maximum speed, no person shall drive any vehicle upon the portion of the highway or upon the detour at a speed in excess of the speed so determined and posted. Violation of the posted speed limit in the maintenance or construction zone shall result in the doubling of the appropriate fine. For purposes of this section, "maintenance or construction zone" means any location where maintenance or construction work is actually in progress and workers present.


"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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