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OHP Rolling Out New Cruisers To Crack Down On Distracted Driving On Turnpikes

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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will put new cruisers on state turnpikes in the coming weeks, but you may not notice them at first. 

"They're going to be specially marked. They're going to be a little different. They're going to be silver — one's [still] going to be solid white, some's still going to be solid black — they're going to be Dodge Chargers, but they're going to be a little sneaky. They're really going to bear down on the texting and driving. That's our hope," OHP Zone Commander Maj. Mike Mize told the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority this week.

There have been more than 200 additional crashes on Oklahoma turnpikes this year than over the same period last year, as well as two more deaths. Mize said increased travel can only account for so many crashes,  and though increased speed limits in some areas and construction zones have also been factors in the rise in crashes, drivers on their phones are the main problem.

"'Cause that's a major concern. I mean, when we have a fatality collision that's a rear-end collision on your turnpike, somebody's not paying attention," Mize said.

Mize would also like to see 40 more troopers on the turnpike system, a 50% increase.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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