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Oklahoma City police pursue solutions for risky intersections

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON Modified: January 11, 2010 at 5:23 am •  Published: January 11, 2010
The most dangerous intersection in Oklahoma City last year was at Pennsylvania Avenue and Memorial Road.

Police worked 94 wrecks at that location, including noninjury, injury, hit-and-run and alcohol- or drug-related traffic incidents within two blocks of the busy intersection, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

At a distant second was Northwest Expressway and NW 63, where officers worked 63 accidents. The third most dangerous area was around Interstate 240 and Pennsylvania, police Geographic Information System data show.

The top 10 most dangerous intersections accounted for 564 collisions last year. All 10 of the most dangerous intersections were on the west side of the city, where traffic patterns are heaviest. Eight of the intersections were on the northwest side and two on the southwest side.

What’s the solution?
Oklahoma City police Capt. Patrick Stewart said police are aware of where the most dangerous intersections are because they work all the accidents at those intersections.

In an effort to reduce the accidents at those locations, Stewart said, police began a currently stalled initiative to try to place red-light cameras at those intersections.

Images from the cameras would result in fines being sent to the owners of vehicles photographed running red lights. But current Oklahoma law does not specifically authorize the use of such devices, Stewart said.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws permitting such automated enforcement. Nine states have laws prohibiting the cameras, and 26 states, including Oklahoma, neither permit nor prohibit the practice. Traffic map

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