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Traffic Talk: Night driving without street lights leaves driver in the dark

Don Gammill: Crews must have certain information from those who report lights out to get them repaired
by Don Gammill Modified: January 20, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: January 20, 2014

Keeping our highways lighted can be a major job, and sometimes so is just getting the right location.

Don, I wrote you sometime back about the problem of the lights out on the interstates. In fact, I counted 102 out from just Interstate 240 to Norman on I-35. I called (the Oklahoma Department of Transportation) and then they referred me to OG&E. I see no improvement and was dismayed to see that the new lights that (were) just put up on the Crosstown Expressway in Oklahoma City were also out. This makes traveling difficult at night as the lines on the highway aren't clearly marked and with the overhead lights out, it is hard to find the turn from I-40 to I-35. This does not seem to be a concern of anyone so I gave up calling.

— Diane

There are some needs here, Diane, that can delay getting repairs.

“This is a process that is not as simple as it seems it should be,” says Oklahoma City traffic engineer Stuart Chai.

“In order for OG&E to respond to a matter like this, they need locations. You see, whatever contractors OG&E uses for repairing street lighting base their work on work orders issued to them as opposed to just driving around and fixing whatever they manage to find.”

The bad bulbs may be easy to find at night, but daylight searches are more difficult, as we all know.

We also know that lights may be inside corporate city limits other than where we think they are. In that instance, we're on the wrong path to begin with.

The better the information, the better the location notation, the better the opportunity for getting results.

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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