OHP tickets impatient drivers making illegal U-turns

OHP tickets impatient drivers making illegal U-turns

LAWTON, Okla._It's only been three days since construction crews blocked off the Cache Road exit ramp on I-44, but some daring drivers have already created their own detour.

They're taking U-turns through the wide median, just north of the tri-level interchange. It's a risky maneuver. They're driving through gravel and then they're cutting into traffic that's moving at 65 mph as they sweep to the right side to hit the exit ramp. On top of the danger, it's also against the law.

The gravel median, normally used only by emergency vehicles, is now a path for those unwilling to take the Rogers Lane or Gore Boulevard exits. Within a 15-minute time frame, two vehicle decided to make the illegal U-turn. A third vehicle almost did, but decided against it after seeing our camera.

Trooper Nick Vinson with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it's not smart to take the illegal shortcut.

"It's pretty dangerous. It's not a good vantage point when you're cutting through here," said Trooper Vinson.

Not only does the U-turn have an awful vantage point, but the rocks make for terrible traction to make a quick exit to Cache Road.

"Some of the problems we've been having are people not expecting their tires to slip. So, if they need to dart out and try to get across there, tires are going to slip and they're not going to get the acceleration they need and potentially cause an accident," explained Trooper Vinson.

It doesn't just affect the safety of those on the road, but if caught, this alternative route will put a dent in your pocketbook.

"We are hoping drivers will just realize that $211.50 is not worth saving 10 minutes," said Trooper Vinson.

Vinson knows it's an inconvenience, but the closure is only supposed to last until the end of the month. So, he and OHP are asking for patience from I-44 drivers.

"Take a little bit of extra time. Go to Rogers Lane or Gore. There's no reason to cut here and put everyone else at danger or risk," said Trooper Vinson.

During the next month, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be monitoring the area to crack down on those trying to take the U-turn.