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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is currently in the trial phase of a new accountability program, set to go into effect January 1, 2021.
The program utilizes a point system to keep track of the daily duties of troopers and emphasizes the main goals of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; public safety and traffic safety.
“Our goal under this new system is to ensure that the men and women of the Patrol that work for the taxpayers make the most efficient use of their time to best serve our citizens,” said Colonel Brent Sugg, Chief of the Highway Patrol.
“The program consists of more than enforcement or issuing citations, but encompasses all of the duties of the Highway Patrol, including assisting stranded motorists, collision investigations and assisting other agencies.”
The program keeps troopers’ discretion intact. The decision whether to issue a warning or a citation rests with the trooper.
Higher points are awarded for troopers that issue citations for critical violations; meaning violations that directly endanger the public, like Driving Under the Influence (DUI), reckless driving or excessive speeding.
Troopers can also earn points for community engagement and conducting safety programs. The accountability program aligns with the agency’s goals of the prevention of serious injury and fatality crashes.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol began the testing phase of the program in late August with approximately 50 troopers and all members are now being trained.
The agency continues to collect feedback and the exact points are still subject to change through the end of the year.