Stillwater Police ticket drivers ignoring road barricades

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STILLWATER, Okla. – “I almost actually got hit by a car that did that, and I wish people would be a little bit more cautious and concerned about why it`s there,” said nearby resident Christian Xiong.

Road signs in Stillwater causing frustration for some residents.

“I thought it meant just detour around that road construction area cause it`s so small it`s like 30 feet long and there`s no torn-up road around there,” said driver Jeff Pickens.

Pickens said he was ticketed by police, after driving around a detour road sign and pulling into the Walmart parking lot.

“It does kinda feel like entrapment a little bit, but they do have a job to do,” said nearby resident Jeff Jackson.

The barricades are up on Virginia Ave. from South Burdick to Perkins Road.

Police say crews there are working to replace a water line.

Friday those city employees called police saying several of their workers were almost hit by cars driving around the signs.

“We have several businesses there so obviously they`re trying to take the shortest route… but we take the safety of our city work crews very seriously,” said Lt. Dale Higgins with the Stillwater Police Department.

Police say to keep their employees safe they were asked to start enforcing the barricade city ordinance.

That ordinance states: “When any highway, street, avenue or other public thoroughfare has been closed to traffic under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and traffic control devices or barricades have been erected, it shall be unlawful for any person to drive any vehicle through, under, over or around such traffic control devices or barricades, or otherwise to enter any closed area.”

It’s $161 a ticket.

From Friday at 1 p.m. to Wednesday at 10 a.m. police say they’ve handed out 123 citations, and 36 traffic warnings.

They say that equals up to over $19,000.

That price has some people angry.

“I was getting ready to buy some groceries at Walmart 160 dollars, that`s a lot of groceries at least the way I eat,” said Pickens.

Others who work nearby, just hope people start paying closer attention to the signs.

“I got here at 8 a.m. and the time it took me to get out of my car and inside I saw three cars get pulled over,” said nearby worker Camisha Emarthla.

Police also say, after the recent flooding, they’ve seen problems with people ignoring signs.

“We had many many problems related to people going around barricades during recent flooding you would`ve thought that lessons would`ve been learned from that but apparently not,” said Lt. Higgins.

Police say you can take your ticket to court and contest it.

There is no set timeline for when construction will be finished.

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