Tulsa’s Road Fatalities On One Map

November 28, 2011 in Dangerous Driving by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – Fatality collisions involving motor vehicles occur on a massive scale in this country. The map above, focused on Tulsa, is littered with fatalities from 2001 to 2009. Each dot represents a life lost. The map can be zoomed out to see the entire United States, where nearly 370,000 people were killed in motor vehicle related collisions.

To put that number in perspective, that’s the equivalent of more than 1,200 Boeing 787 Dreamliner commercial airplanes filled to passenger capacity, one crashing every two or three days for nine years – the equivalent of more than 120 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But the U.S. doesn’t mobilize wars against traffic deaths. We accept traffic fatalities as a cost of living in our auto-centric society. Sometimes we care more about the traffic congestion caused by a fatality wreck than we do the lives lost.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma had 668 traffic fatalities in 2010 – 68 were pedestrians, eight were bicyclists. Traffic fatalities in Oklahoma have actually decreased nearly 13% since 2006 when there were 765 people killed in traffic accidents.

Distracted Drivers Graph

Source: Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office

Driving while texting or talking on a cell phone is a major problem in Oklahoma. In 2010, nearly 1,500 crashes were caused by Oklahoma drivers who were distracted while using an electronic device. The age group that crashes the most while distracted by electronic devices is 16 to 25-year-olds, followed by 26 to 35-year-olds. Of these 1,500 crashes, more than 500 were injury crashes and nine were fatal.


Why Cars Have Tags, Registration And Bikes Don’t

November 14, 2011 in Bicycling, Dangerous Driving by bikewalkadmin

TGI Friday Wreck

A van went airborne and landed on three parked cars near 61st and Memorial. photo: KTUL

TULSA – Every now and then the argument emerges that bikes should be licensed and registered if they want to use the road.

Notwithstanding the fact that bicyclists have always had the right to the road and are the reason paved roads exist in the first place, bikes do not have to be licensed, registered or tagged because they simply do not have the ability to create the same scale of death and destruction as motor vehicles.

Here are some examples, just within the last week, why cars are licensed, registered and tagged:

  • Van Lands Atop Vehicles In Restaurant Parking Lot: Tulsa World, KTUL, Fox23
  • Woman Killed Crashing Truck Off Tulsa Riverside Park Overlook: NewsOn6
  • Pick-up Truck Flips On Top of Another Vehicle: KRJH
  • RSU Pitcher Dies in Fiery Crash: KJRH, NewsOn6, Tulsa World
  • Boy, 4, In Critical Condition After Collision: Tulsa World
  • Suspected Drunk Driver Jumps Curb, Hits Toddler: KTUL

Read the rest of this entry →

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes, Back On Road One Hour After Arrest

November 14, 2011 in Dangerous Driving by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – The News On 6 reports a suspected drunk driver was arrested after crashing into another vehicle and was back behind the wheel only one hour later.

The accident allegedly happened at 31st and New Haven late on October 29. The accused driver, 53-year-old Frances Denise Elliott of Tulsa, was so drunk she could barely stand up when given a field sobriety test, according to the victim.

Apparently, Tulsa Police’s breathalyzer machine at the jail was broken, so the police officer only issued a ticket for the collision and drove Elliott home. When the crash victim returned to get pictures of Elliott’s car for insurance purposes, Elliott got back in the car, jumped a curb and drove away.

Elliott has been charged with drunk driving before. Court records show Elliott was charged with driving her Plymouth Lazer under the influence of alcohol at 63rd and Peoria in January 1993. Elliott pled guilty to impaired driving and was sentenced to 40 hours in the Tulsa County Municipal Work Program, DUI School and a fine of $400.

Tulsa Police officers are sworn to protect the citizens of Tulsa from drivers like Elliott. It is not clear why the officer did not take the suspect to a nearby hospital for a blood or urine test to determine Elliott’s sobriety, or lack thereof.

Tulsa streets would be much safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists if drivers like Elliott weren’t on the loose. Sadly, in this case, it appears the Tulsa Police Department did not enforce drunk driving laws with the same passion they reserve for park curfews.