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Council approves change to median safety ordinance
The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to approve a change to Oklahoma City’s median safety ordinance that prohibits pedestrians only on medians for streets with speed limits of 40 mph and higher.
The change, introduced during the Council’s Oct. 24 meeting, was recommended by the Municipal Counselor’s Office. The recommendation was in response to concerns from the community about the breadth of restrictions in the original ordinance adopted in December 2015.
The ordinance adopted in 2015 prohibits sitting, standing or staying on medians based on the size of the median. The approved change shifts the basis to the speed limit, supported by statistics from federal public health and roadway safety agencies.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports higher vehicle speeds increase the likelihood of death or life-threatening injury to a pedestrian when a vehicle hits someone. A person hit by a vehicle at 40 mph has an 85 percent of being killed, compared to 5 percent at 20 mph and 45 percent at 30 mph, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Medians are traffic safety devices and are dangerous places for pedestrians to sit, stand, or stay. The Municipal Counselor’s Office redrafted the regulation to address only the greatest danger to pedestrians on traffic medians.
The ordinance took effect immediately. Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $100, plus court costs.
As with anyone fined for a City of Oklahoma City ordinance violation, people who can’t afford to pay the fine are granted an indigency hearing before a Municipal Court judge and have options for restitution.
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