Troopers Lowering Tolerance On Highway 70 - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Troopers Lowering Tolerance On Highway 70

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MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- A deadly crash on a Texoma highway last week that killed three members of one Oklahoma City family is drawing new attention to the deadly stretch of road.     

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they're cracking down on unsafe driving on Highway 70.

"Everybody wants to go faster than the speed limit," said Trooper Rodney Davis.

Since January of 1997, OHP says 17 collisions on Highway 70 have killed 32 people and injured 18 more.

Highway 70 in Carter County is a divided four lane highway but as drivers crossover into Marshall County, it becomes just a two lane highway."

"That's where it becomes extremely dangerous," said Davis.

The nine miles of two-lane highway between Madill and the Carter County line is known by many as a deadly stretch of roadway.

"People even driving the 65 mile an hour speed limit don't have time a lot of times to stop for somebody making a turn," said Don Ayres, who lives just off the highway.

Troopers say turns on 70 are difficult because drivers carry over their speed from the divided highway in Carter County.

"People lose focus and they don't pay attention to what's going on around them and that's what causes crashes," said Davis.

Captain Ronnie Hampton says speed is as much to blame as the dangerous turns and hilly terrain.

"The difference between a vehicle traveling 65 and 75 is about 14 feet per second," said Hampton. "Just a few miles per hour can have a drastic effect on car crash. Whether it happens or not, whether people live or die."

During a ride along with OHP on Tuesday, three tickets were issued for vehicles traveling at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit in the span of an hour.

"It's really for safety reasons and it's to protect lives," said Davis. "And when you couple that with the fact that we have lost so many lives on this highway, hopefully it grabs their attention and makes them want to be more safe."

OHP says they are still investigating last week's fatal collision.

Residents along Highway 70 and troopers say the ultimate fix will be making Highway 70 into a four lane highway.