Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 7, 2013

Speed limits set by several sources

TAHLEQUAH — Take a drive anywhere in Cherokee County, and you’ll likely encounter a speed limit you believe is either too low or too high.

City and county leaders receive regular requests for speed limits to be lowered, and occasionally, someone says a particular speed needs to be increased. But officials consider several factors when trying to determine what limits to impose on area streets.

Within Tahlequah, the city council is responsible for setting speed limits on the roads.

“It’s a pretty straight-forward process,” said Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols. “In Tahlequah, if it’s not posted, by ordinance, the maximum speed is 25 mph; if it’s something other than 25, then it is going to be set by the council by ordinance.”

State officials determine speed limits for state highways, and Nichols said they also have input on speed limits for the bypass that encircles the city.

“Other than that, if it’s inside the city, it’s purely a city decision,” said Nichols.

County commissioners set speed limits for county roads, and take several factors into consideration. According to commissioners, the most important factor is the county’s geography, which features curves, hills, valleys and other terrain that could be hazardous at the wrong speeds.

Nichols said the city council typically relies on complaints to decide whether a particular speed limit might need to be changed. A high percentage of those requests are for a lowered limit.

Speeds around Tahlequah and in other places throughout Cherokee County vary – up to as high as 65 on some stretches of road – and are typically lowest near schools or other areas where children might frequent, or in places where fast traffic might be dangerous to pedestrians or drivers.

Nichols said the city is looking at other ways of enforcing speed limits.

“We’re trying to get away from posting signs that are easily ignored,” he said. “We’re trying to get some speed tables and other traffic-calming devices in place in certain areas to compel that speed to be followed.”

Drivers can face a fine of $99 for speeds up to 15 mph over the posted limit on a Tahlequah street; a $124 fine for driving 16-25 mph over the limit; and $174 for speeds more than 25 mph over the posted limits.

Cherokee County District 1 Commissioner Doug Hubbard said the maximum speed on county roads is 45 mph, unless otherwise posted.

“[When considering a speed limit], I just determine traffic usage and look at the location and whether it’s close to a housing addition, or things like if it’s a curvy road,” said Hubbard.

Commissioners receive few calls asking for speed limits to be increased, but they do get occasional requests for lowered limits – especially from residents who suffer the effects of dust on dirt roads, or who are concerned about children playing in the area.

Hubbard said the county also tries to add caution signs in certain areas when a request is made.

According to the Uniform Oklahoma Bond Schedule, drivers who receive speeding tickets in the county can face minimum bonds of $188.50 for 1-10 mph over the limit, all the way up to $411.50 for going more than 36 mph over the limit.

If the speed is broken in a school zone or construction zone, fines can reach from about $200 to more than $616.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Stocks