Like the residents and motorists it is obligated to serve and protect, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol also is concerned about rising gasoline prices, a patrol spokeswoman said.
"We are hoping that the gas prices not only stop their upward climb, but steadily will decrease and soon,” trooper Betsy Randolph said. Still, motorists shouldn't worry that the patrol's level of protection and service will decrease, she said. Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Ward said the patrol hasn't changed its policies or issued guidelines concerning the financial strain gasoline prices have caused. "We have emphasized to personnel to conserve fuel whenever possible and have informed personnel that we have nearly exhausted all possible financial resources to pay for the increased fuel costs,” Ward said. "We have discussed actions like mileage restrictions and doubling personnel in cars as examples of possible ways that could reduce fuel costs. No decisions have been made regarding which programs or steps we could engage because of increased fuel costs.” Staff Writer Brian Sargent