• Oklahoma Highway Patrol to limit trooper driving to save money amid budget shortfall

    By: Katie Higgins

    Updated:

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • OHP announced additional money-saving restrictions Tuesday.
    • These come after previous restrictions set to reduce spending amid a statewide budget shortfall.

     

    The Department of Public Safety announced cost-saving measures to make up for a state budget shortfall Tuesday, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

    The highway patrol said they will restrict troopers to driving 100-miles in patrol cars. Their aircraft flying hours will also be reduced. Some dispatch operations will be altered between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    Troopers currently average more than 150 miles a day keeping highway safe.

    Officials said the new reductions are in addition to several previously announced measures, including a hiring freeze on troopers, no expansion to their 800 MHZ radio system, empty driver license examiner positions and the loss of 32 critical employees.

    The highway patrol said they have 805 Troopers assigned statewide responsible for patrolling nearly 112,000 miles of roadway and serving a population of nearly 4 million people.

    A trooper said there will be exceptions to the limit in case of emergencies, but response times will likely be down.

    Officials said the cut will especially affect those living in rural areas.

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