Officials debuted a new Highway Safety Zone designation on November 27 in Kingfisher, OK during a meeting about boosting safety awareness on high-traffic roads. The event, sponsored by the Energize for Safety Coalition, saw more than 200 attendees meet for a panel discussion about ongoing traffic issues.
Coalition President and Founder Tom Robins moderated the discussion with Oklahoma Secretary of Safety and Security Rusty Rhoades, Secretary of Transportation Michael Patterson, and Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague. The new designation – which provides funding for additional signs, lighting and enforcement – will be unveiled in early 2019 in areas with increasing industry and community traffic.
A two-lane section of Oklahoma Highway 33 between Kingfisher and Watonga will be one of the first safety zones. Increased drilling activity has caused a rise in accidents, and the number of commercial vehicles involved in crashes in this area has more than doubled over the past three years.
The safety designation, along with driver training to be required by the Chisholm Trail Technology Center, will provide additional safety measures to high school and vo-tech students driving this stretch of highway.
Attendees also heard from industry leaders in the STACK such as Greg Kannaday, President, Lugreg Trucking; Craig Jackson, Senior Operations Superintendent, Devon Energy; and Chad Warmington, President, Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association.
PESA is proud to be a member of the Energize for Safety Coalition, a nonprofit that brings together the energy industry, state associations and agencies, local leaders, nonprofits and community leaders to collectively address safety impacts around energy-related traffic in communities.
For more information on the coalition and future Oklahoma events, please contact PESA Senior Director Government Affairs Kristin Hincke.