District 1 County Commissioner Dan DeLozier said he is worried about speeding on county roads. Responding to numerous calls and complaints, DeLozier wants to get the word out for safety’s sake.

“There have been a lot of near misses,” said DeLozier. “People have been calling me asking if there is anything we can do to slow drivers down. They want me to put in speed bumps. We can’t do that.”

DeLozier is right to be concerned. According to 2005 data published in the Annual Crash Facts Report by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, Rogers County tops the state for crashes on county roads.

One resident, Grover McLemore, reported that there is about a three-second count after cars topping the hill west of his driveway that exits onto East 420 Road. He has nearly been hit on several occasions when leaving his residence. He hopes people will slow down before there is an accident.

According the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office’s report, crashes on county roads in Rogers County in 2005 numbered 349. Next in line were Tulsa County 324, Mayes 155 and Comanche 154.

Numerous factors may contribute to this statistic, but one thing is clear — drivers need to slow down and pay attention.

County roads carry an automatic speed limit of 45 mph unless otherwise posted in both Rogers and Mayes counties.

“Since they’ve made the road improvements, speed has picked up considerably and accidents have too,” said Inola Fire Chief Barney Grigg. Inola Fire and Rescue frequently renders aid to crash victims on county roads. According to Grigg people don’t always realize how fast they’re going because virtually all

of the county roads are paved

these days.

“It’s a nice ride,” said Grigg. “Not like the old gravel roads.”

He said that county roads are narrow, however, and have no shoulder. Vehicles drop off the edge then over- correct. He warns that people need to be more aware of their speed in these situations.

Rogers County has between 1,780 and 1,800 miles of county roads. All but approximately 20 of these miles are paved thanks to the penny sales tax.

“Some of the previous commissioners planned carefully with this sales tax money to give us better roads,” said DeLozier.

According to officials at Mayes County out of approximately 1,200 miles of county roads, less than half are chip and sealed.

Commissioners DeLozier, Mike Helm, and Kirt Thacker are proud of the county roads, but they want people to slow down.

“Hard surface roads save wear and tear on vehicles and school buses. People don’t have to deal with mud and rock chips. The only negative thing about the paved roads is that it does allow for more speeding which creates somewhat of a danger,” said Thacker. “People just need to watch their speed and drive with caution.”

Crash Facts

Top causes of crashes

Failed to Yield, 12,216

Improper Act/Movement, 8,859

Unsafe Speed, 8,768

Inattention, 8,380

Failed to Stop, 7,771

Source: 2005 Annual Crash Facts Report by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office

Square Miles:

Comanche, 1,069

Mayes, 656

Rogers, 675

2005 Population:

Comanche, 12,429

Mayes, 39,471

Rogers, 80,757

National Association of Counties (NACo) statistics

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