Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
We’ve all been there: ten minutes late and thus fifteen miles over the speed limit; reckless and high speed driving is becoming increasingly common.
Curtis Thompson, an Edmond Police Department motor officer said that on average he pulls over 10 to 15 speeders a day. The average speed a person is going when pulled over is between 13 and 15 miles per hour over the limit, though the minimum is usually 10 miles over.
On Feb. 2, senior Daniel Wakeland received his first speeding ticket while driving down Boulevard Street in Edmond.
“Me and some friends were hanging out around midnight, and we decided we wanted a milkshake, so we jumped in our car and headed down Boulevard,” Wakeland said. “I was going faster than I should have been. I passed by a police officer, and he pulled me over.”
Wakeland was going 14 miles over the posted speed limit, which is 35 miles per hour on Boulevard.
Wakeland has advice for his fellow drivers, speeding or not.
“I know some people get nervous when they get pulled over by cops,” Wakeland said. “It is not as scary as some people might make it out to be. They’re doing their job and you have to respect that. If you follow by the rules, then you really have nothing to worry about.”
Part of being a police officer is enforcing traffic laws. They are there to help keep the roads safe for all drivers and not just to give tickets.
“Our obligation is to visit with the driver and talk with them to make sure that they know why they are being stopped,” Captain of Campus Police Larry Fields said.
Wakeland, although pulled over for speeding, understands the need for traffic violations.
“There are a lot of residential areas in Edmond,” Wakeland said. “I understand that you don’t want people speeding. Speeding is a big deal whenever you have families involved. I know that if I lived in a house on Smiling Hills, I would like speeders to be caught and those laws to be enforced.”
The Edmond Police Department and Oklahoma Christian’s Campus Police work to keep the issue of speeding under control.
“It is a safety issue, and as a police officer for the state of Oklahoma or for the Campus Police that is our responsibility: to keep students safe, faculty or staff safe, as well as our visitors safe,” Fields said.
There are many different factors that can go into receiving a speeding ticket, and speeding can lead to other dangers due to distracted driving.
“I think that the biggest infraction that we have is inattentive driving,” Thompson said. “If you’re speeding, you aren’t paying attention to your speed, or if you are purposely speeding, you aren’t paying attention to those around you.”
Speeding violations can lead to a more serious reckless driving ticket. The Edmond Police Department assesses each ticket separately for reckless driving.
On campus, reckless driving is the second most expensive violation at $150, the first is parking in a handicapped spot which will run you back $250. However, the campus police rarely have to give reckless driving tickets.
“We may have given one ticket last year, 2012,” Fields said.
Speeding and other traffic violations can eventually lead to having one’s license revoked. By law, the Edmond Police Department uses a point system to decide when a person must give up their right to drive.
“It depends, because so many points per infractions are assessed,” Thompson said. “It is a total of 10 points before your license is suspended. If you were to have 10 infractions that were only one point, it would be 10.”
At Oklahoma Christian, a speeding ticket, if not appealed at the Campus Police Office, costs $50.
“Students should know the traffic laws, and we enforce those laws,” Fields said.
Wakeland understands the traffic laws and how dangerous speeding is.
“Driving is dangerous as it is; speeding is just adding to that danger,” Wakeland said.
Fields commented on the danger of speeding and the Campus Police’s role in protecting the campus.
“Our responsibility is the safety of our students,” Fields said. “That is why we take traffic violations very seriously.”