No. 1 violation EPD officers write is for speeding

Enid police officer Christian Owusu conducts a traffic stop in this March 7 photo. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — In the past year, Enid Police Department officers have written more than 17,000 citations for speeding, according to data from the department.

Capt. Tim Jacobi provided figures from June 1, 2018, to May 29, 2019, from the department’s digital ticket writing system. The figures include all citations issued, and do not discern between citations and warnings.

The No. 1 violation officers wrote citations for in the past 12 months was for speeding 1 to 10 mph over the speed limit. Officers issued 17,877 citations for that specific offense, which accounted for 21.72 percent of the number of citations issued in the past 12 months.

The No. 2 most cited violation was for seat belt infractions. Officers issued 15,331 citations for seat belt violations in the past 12 months, accounting for 18.63 percent of citations issued in that time period.

The third most cited violation was for security verification form or no proof of insurance. Officers wrote 12,269 citations in the past year for the infraction, accounting for 14.91 percent of citations written.

Jacobi said the citation is written if a driver cannot prove at the time of the stop their vehicle is insured. He noted, the citation is almost always written as a warning, giving drivers a chance to prove their vehicle was insured.

“We almost always write a conditional warning to allow them to bring in evidence they were insured at the time of the stop,” Jacobi said.

The fourth most issued citation is for improper equipment. This could be for broken or inoperable lights, or other non-functioning equipment on a vehicle. Officers wrote 10,111 citations, which accounted for 12.29 percent, of all citations issued in the past year.

Jacobi said these citations, too, are often issued as warnings and officers giving motorists an opportunity to correct the problem.

The No. 5 citation most issued by Enid police officers in the past 12 months is for invalid license tag. Jacobi said this could be for motorists who have an expired tag, or no tag at all, for their vehicles.

Officers wrote 6,211 citations for invalid license tag in the past year, accounting for 7.55 percent of all citations issued.

In the past 12 months, January saw the most citations written with 1,388, Jacobi said. The month with the fewest citations written was February, with 773.

He said December saw the most warnings issued to motorists, with 598. February saw the fewest warnings issued in the past 12 months, with 382 written by officers.

Lt. Randy King, who oversees the department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant, said the department just completed a recent campaign.

“Our main priority is impaired driving, with a secondary emphasis of general traffic infractions, such as seat belts, speeding and running red lights,” King said. “As part of being a grant recipient, you agree to participate in campaigns such as Click It or Ticket, ENDUI, Driver Sober of Get Pulled Over.”

He said the national Click It or Ticket campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, ends Sunday.

Officers volunteer to participate in the campaigns through the grant, which pays for the overtime worked by the officers who volunteer.

King said according to data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, seat belt usage in Garfield County has increased to 84.7 compliance last year. The statewide average for 2018 was 85.6 compliance.

“We’ve actually moved up over the last few years,” he said. “You have to educate people.”

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains. He can be reached at crains@enidnews.com.

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