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When residents in the south Cleveland County expressed concerns about speed along Slaughterville Road, deputies with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office shifted into high gear to provide a solution.
Lt. Jeff Hixon was put in charge of a “Make Safe” traffic initiative in the area.
“During the time off this initiative, there was a lot of construction and one woman was almost hit,” Hixon said. “She was the initial person that called in and spoke to Chief Deputy Jose Chavez about the issue.”
Speeders and other traffic violators were potentially placing residents at risk along a stretch of the road between 108th Avenue to about 144th Avenue.
“If you are going east or west the speed slows down,” Hixon said, but drivers who aren’t locals don’t realize that and may not see the signs.
Additionally, truck drivers hauling gravel and crushed concrete to and from the construction site there were not familiar with speed limits and found it hard to slow down with a full load.
Hixon said the speed limit slows down around 120th because it’s a bad intersection and a convenience store is located there.
“There were other complaints about traffic not slowing down in the general area, so we started doing a lot of patrol during high traffic times,” Hixon said.
The “Make Safe” operation started July 1 and ended on July 31, resulting in 106 traffic stops.
“This is an excellent example of working with the community to build relationships and using a spirit of innovation as we seek opportunities to improve our service to the residents of Cleveland County,” said Sheriff Todd Gibson. “Using measurable standards to track results along with the positive community feedback we received at the end of the traffic operation also created a spirit of cooperation and humility for the deputies working to improve safety in this area.”
Ninety-nine written warnings and five citations were issued. Two arrests were also made.
“We did statistics for the first half and the last half of the month,” Hixon said. “What we noticed is there were fewer stops in the last half of the month because they started slowing down and following the laws to come to complete stops.”
The locals were driving more safely and most stops toward the end of the month were people who weren’t familiar with the area and who weren’t paying close attention to speed limits along the route.
“I want to commend Shift 1D and all patrol deputies involved on a fantastic job,” Chavez said.
Hixon said all-stars in the initiative were Deputies Rafael Hernandez, who completed 37 stops, Master Sergeant Travis Shroyer, with 35 and Deputy Grant Atteberry, with 12.
Currently, Cleveland County deputies are focusing on school zones but they will also keep Slaughterville Road on the list for attention so the dangerous traffic issues don’t make a comeback.
“It will be one of the areas we’ll continue to enforce,” Hixon said.