5/26/2007Oklahoma Legislature Restores Speed Trap Law
The Oklahoma state legislature votes to re-enact the state ban on speed traps.
The Oklahoma state legislature moved swiftly this week to re-enact a prohibition on small town speed traps. State Representative Paul D. Roan (D-Tishomingo) had successfully removed a provision of law that undermined the ability of towns in his district to balance their budgets by writing speeding tickets. Roan's measure took effect on May 1, but his victory did not last long.
On Thursday the state Senate voted 43-3 to delete what most members considered a sneaky attempt on Roan's part to allow towns like Moffett to return to state highways and issue speeding tickets. With overwhelming House approval yesterday, the new speed trap ban goes into effect on November 1 if the measure is signed by Governor C. Brad Henry (D). The new measure did maintain some features from Roan's bill that diminish the speed trap ban's effectiveness. Language in the bill no longer requires the head of the state highway patrol to strip small towns of their authority to issue tickets on state and federal highways if ticket revenue amounts to 50 percent of the town's budget. Instead, the new measure makes speed trap investigations optional.
A total of fifteen towns earned the majority of their revenue from traffic citations, including Caney, Kiowa, Stringtown, Sportsman Acres, Marble City, Talala, Tupelo, Big Cabin, McCurtain, West Siloam Spring, Boynton, Gans, South Coffeyville and Shady Point.
Article Excerpt:Excerpts from
ENROLLED SENATE BILL NO. 748
By: Mazzei and Wilson of the Senate and Terrill and Martin (Steve) of the House
An Act relating to motor vehicles; amending 47 O.S. 2001, Section 2-117, as last amended by Section 8 of Enrolled House Bill No. 1616 of the 1st Session of the 51st Oklahoma Legislature, which relates to traffic-related enforcement authority of the Department of Public Safety; authorizing the Commissioner to designate portions of certain highways within municipalities for special traffic-related enforcement; creating the Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force; providing for membership, selection of officers, quorum, travel reimbursement and staff support for task force; requiring publication of certain report; requiring action contingent upon statutory authorization; amending 47 O.S. 2001, Section 1142, as amended by Section 6, Chapter 295, O.S.L. 2006 (47 O.S. Supp. 2006, Section 1142), which relates to motor license agents; modifying amount motor license agent required to deposit into certain account; providing for codification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 47 O.S. 2001, Section 2-117, as last amended by Section 8 of Enrolled House Bill No. 1616 of the 1st Session of the 51st Oklahoma Legislature, is amended to read as follows:
Section 2-117. A. The Commissioner of Public Safety and each officer of the Department of Public Safety, as designated and commissioned by the Commissioner, are hereby declared to be peace officers of the State of Oklahoma and shall be so deemed and taken in all courts having jurisdiction of offenses against the laws of the state. Such officers shall have the powers and authority now and hereafter vested by law in other peace officers, including the right and power of search and seizure, except the serving or execution of civil process, and the right and power to investigate and prevent crime and to enforce the criminal laws of this state.
3. The Commissioner may designate any portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, and those portions of the federal-aid primary highways and the state highway system which are located within the boundaries of and on the outskirts of a municipality for special traffic-related enforcement by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Division and issue a written notice to any other law enforcement agency affected thereby. Upon receipt of such notice, the affected law enforcement agency shall not regulate traffic nor enforce traffic‑related statutes or ordinances upon such designated portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways or such designated portions of the federal-aid primary highways and the state highway system without prior coordination and written approval of the Commissioner.
E. 1. Any of the following persons may request the Commissioner to investigate the traffic-related enforcement practices of a municipal law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction includes portions of the federal-aid primary highways, the state highway system, or both located within the boundaries of and on the outskirts of the municipality:
a. the district attorney in whose jurisdiction the municipality is located,
b. a majority of the county commissioners, by resolution, of the county in which the municipality is located,
c. the State Auditor and Inspector,
d. the State Attorney General, or
e. a state legislator in whose district the municipality is located.
2. The request shall state that the requesting party believes the enforcement practices are being conducted:
a. within the boundaries of and on the outskirts of the municipality, and
b. for the purpose of generating more than fifty percent (50%) of the revenue needed for the operation of the municipality.
3. Upon receipt of a request pursuant to this subsection, the Commissioner may investigate the traffic-related enforcement practices of the municipal law enforcement agency and the receipts and expenditures of the municipality. The law enforcement agency, the municipality, and the requesting party shall cooperate fully with the Commissioner in such an investigation. Upon the completion of the investigation, the Commissioner shall submit a report of the results of the investigation to the Attorney General, who shall make a determination within sixty (60) days of receipt of the report as to whether the enforcement practices of the municipal law enforcement agency are being conducted as provided in subparagraphs a and b of paragraph 2 of this subsection. Upon a determination that the enforcement practices are not being conducted in such a manner, the Attorney General shall notify the Commissioner in writing, and the Commissioner shall take no action to make a designation as provided in paragraph 3 of subsection D of this section. Upon a determination that the enforcement practices are being conducted as provided in subparagraphs a and b of paragraph 2 of this subsection, the Attorney General shall notify the Commissioner in writing, and the Commissioner shall make the designation of special traffic-related enforcement as provided in paragraph 3 of subsection D of this section, which shall stay in force for such time as determined by the Commissioner. The Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules to uniformly implement the procedures for initiating, investigating and reporting to the Attorney General the results of a request under the provisions of this subsection and the criteria for determining the length of time the designation of special traffic-related enforcement shall be in force.
F. Nothing in this section shall limit a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Division from requesting assistance from any other law enforcement agency nor limit officers of such agency from rendering the requested assistance. The officer and the law enforcement agency responding to the request of the member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Division or sheriff's department shall have the same rights and immunities as are possessed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Division.
G. No state official shall have any power, right, or authority to command, order, or direct any commissioned law enforcement officer of the Department of Public Safety to perform any duty or service contrary to the provisions of this title or any other laws of this state.
SECTION 4. Sections 1 and 3 of this act shall become effective November 1, 2007.
SECTION 5. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.
Passed the Senate the 24th day of May, 2007.
Passed the House of Representatives the 25th day of May, 2007.