Rush Springs, OK Has a Speed Trap

Today my very cute roommate and I went south to pick up our daughter from Girl Scout camp. We’d been without either of our kids since last Sunday, and were looking forward to getting everybody back together.

We took US 81 south from Chickasaw, eventually passing through Rush Springs. We’ve never been to the semi-famous Watermelon Festival there. We noted that there were Rush Springs city limits signs on US 81, but there were no buildings along the road. We also noted that the speed limit dropped precipitously from 70 to 55. Hmmm, thought I.

We got Erin from camp and headed back north. We took US 81B through the center of town, which is a good mile off the main part of US 81. We took the east-west OK 17 back out to US 81, and headed north. A couple hundred yards later, imagine my surprise to see a Rush Springs police officer sitting in the median running radar on the northbound traffic. There were no buildings to speak of on either side of the road.

This is clearly a speed trap. We saw no police while driving through town. It’s clear that the town city limits were extended out to the highway, and the speeds dropped, just to provide a venue for the cops to run up town revenue by preying on people on US 81. There was no legitimate reason for the city limits to be that far out, and there is no reason to have such a speed limit drop, and further, the officer would be doing a better job protecting his town by patrolling it, or maybe running radar there.

There are a series of speed traps along US 69 in eastern Oklahoma, but at least the road there runs through the towns.

No, I didn’t get stopped or get a ticket. But, I can guarantee that this will likely keep me from spending a dime in Rush Springs – I despise cities that do crap like this.

04 May 2013 Update:

I have been through this area numerous times since the original post. There has been a Rush Springs police presence at least half of the times I have passed through. And to explain the city limits issue that lets the local police run their speed trap, here is a map of the city limits (courtesy of Google Maps):

This is what a speed trap looks like.

This is what a speed trap looks like.

The speed limit drops from 70 to 45 in a short time. Just as an experiment, the last time I drove through this (two weeks ago), I just let my foot off the accelerator and coasted down; my car wouldn’t naturally slow down from the 70 to the 65 sign, and then to the 55, and finally, right before I came over the hill, I pressed the brakes to slow to 44 just as the cop came into view.


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9 Responses to “Rush Springs, OK Has a Speed Trap”

  1. NoRushPurchases Says:

    I got one this month. I am organizing a Boycott Rush Springs.

  2. NoRushPurchases Says:

    Here is my boycott site.

    Everyone please call the merchants and tell them you will not be shopping at their stores.

  3. Vicki Jones Says:

    If you would slow down and follow speed limit signs you will not get caught in the “speed trap”. I am sure you are not aware of it but there have been several people killed at that intersection. Many of the people who were killed there were local people who were killed by cars passing through and not following posted signs. Im not sure where your dislike for the Rush Springs merchants comes from, but I do know they would all appreciate your business. I hope that you will come visit again and possibly visit our Watermelon festival. We will even give you some free watermelon at the festival. Please do be safe and slow down at that intersection.

    • Bill Hensley Says:

      Vicki, the issue is the town extending it’s city limits out to the state highway, then north and south. There aren’t any houses or businesses there. If the issue was truly safety, then lights would be installed. But since it’s only police running radar in an artificially low speed limit, then it’s about revenue from the travelling non-Rush Springs public, and that is a speed trap.

    • Randy Harris Says:

      WRONG VICKI! To “slow down and follow speed limit signs” apparently isn’t good enough. You could get a ticket even if you do – as I did. I’ve been well aware of this speed trap for years and got nailed speeding through it myself a couple of times. I was guilty as charged those times and had no grounds to complain. Not this time. I approached the intersection from the north on May 1st while going to see my parents in Marlow. Fully expecting a cop to be out of view on the other side of the hill and ready to prey on unaware motorists, I made sure my speed was down to the posted speed limit before I reached the 55mph sign and did likewise before reaching the 45mph sign. Sure enough, as I got to the top of the hill, there he was, parked in the median roughly a hundred yards south of the intersection. I watched my speedometer closely and maintained 45mph until I was completely through the intersection and then began to accelerate. He was pulling out of the median in pursuit of me, with his lights flashing, as soon as I passed by him. I don’t know exactly what my speed was when I passed him, but I wasn’t concerned because it was well under 70mph – the regular speed limit on Highway 81 in that area. The citation I received was for going 59mph in a 45mph zone. If the purpose of the 45mph speed limit is to get drivers to slow down because, as you say, “there have been several people killed at that intersection”, then why did I get a speeding ticket AFTER passing through the intersection. This is not a school zone where children might be crossing the street in either direction of a bus stop. It should be perfectly OK to begin increasing speed after getting completely through the intersection. Also, there was another car right beside me in the other southbound lane, going the same speed. It didn’t accelerate quite as fast as I did after passing through the intersection, but it was still going faster than 45mph. Why was that driver not stopped and issued a ticket? Did I accelerate to fast for the cop’s liking after I was through the intersection? Did he recognize the driver of the other car as a local? I don’t know and I don’t care. It doesn’t matter.

      It is one thing to ticket drivers that are technically breaking the law, however nitpicky the enforcement may be. It’s quite another to prey on folks that OBEY the law. Maybe police there have nothing better to do. If that’s the case, then Rush Springs shouldn’t be incorporated in the first place. As a city boy who truly appreciates the simple life and constantly defends small town America against criticism from high-brow metropolitan types, places like Rush Springs cause me to wonder why.

      And if you’re really not sure where the dislike for Rush Springs merchants comes from, let me explain it to you. Merchants and residents are culpable and complicit in this outrageous and corrupt situation because they have the power to put a stop to it and choose not to. And they can’t claim ignorance because I’ve heard people from out-of-state talk about the Rush Springs speed trap going back at least a decade. To be clear, I’ll pay the fine even though it will cause me considerable hardship in my current circumstances. That’s OK, I’ll live. I have far more important things to do, but unless and until this travesty is rectified, it will be my mission to prevent every dollar I can from being spent, and to discourage every company I can from establishing operations or doing business there – of any kind, in any way. I’ve prepared a description of how things work in Rush Springs and I’m going to post it on every blog, news outlet, business publication, discussion forum and whatever else – across the state, the region, the continent, and the world. Before I’m finished, I’ll make sure that town loses a thousand times the cost of my ticket. When someone does the right thing and gets city hall to call off the wolves, then we can all look at it as a learning experience, put it behind us and move on. This can happen the easy way, or it can happen the hard way. The choice is theirs. Either way, this scam is going to end.

      Unfortunately, there will be times when it is necessary for me to use Highway 81 and drive through the Rush Springs intersection – such as when taking my disabled mother to her doctor appointments in Chickasha. Be assured that every time I do, I’ll have my phone camera capturing live video and audio from at least one mile before, and at least one mile after the intersection, recording my speedometer and a full 120 degree field of view ahead of me. And just in case I get pulled over and an officer decides to confiscate my phone, it will be uploading everything in real-time to my server. If my phone gets broken, or the recordings are “mysteriously” deleted, it won’t do any good, so good luck to them if they try to cover it up. The truth will be told and justice will be served.

      • Ron Says:

        Randy, if your speed was more than 45 mph before you passed the 55 mph sign approximately 1000 feet south of the intersection, then you were technically in violation according to Oklahoma State traffic law. I agree that the separation for the signs for the acceleration zone is a bit much. There is a definite law for decel sign spacing that if not followed is the legal definition of a speed trap. I have been through this intersection hundreds if not thousands of times on personal and company business, at all times of the day. I have occasionally been above the posted speed limit due to distractions of one sort or the other. I have been stopped one time in 40 years and got off with a verbal warning. I have heard stories of high level Oklahoma officials being ticketed at this intersection, but I suspect there is considerable exaggeration as to the level of income Rush Springs gets from speeding tickets at this site. The laws and signs are clear. Slow down and you won’t be ticketed.

  4. Nount Says:

    I was there just now pulled over and got a ticket of $235. That speed drop is in so short distance and there is no way that it can be coasted down in time. I always set my cruise control when I drive to make sure that I am on speed limit. The officer said i was on 64 on 40 road. But when the officer stopped me where I was on the 55 limit area already and told him my speed was little bit over 55. Should I appeal to the court? I think this really unfair

    • Dustin Says:

      I am in the Same boat! I got pulled over a few weeks ago and yes every time I go through there , there sits a cop ! I too was on cruise control and anything short of slamming on brakes gets you a ticket apparently .. But here is the kicker ..the officer said ” do you know why I pulled you over ?? ” and before I could respond ” you were speeding, I did not use a radar because I was pulling out of of the gas station , but I got you going 61 in a 45 ” hmm so he ” got me going 61″ with no radar gun?? … Then he goes on to write the ticket for 61 in a 45 using a radar gun!! He flat out lied to my face !! There is NO WAY I was going more than 5 over because I was well aware of the trap … But yet get pulled over with a lie … Oh and go figure “61” is the speed that puts you in the next ticket bracket of 16 over .. And you say it’s no trap?!?! Give me a break! It is a small town that has no business on that highway .. If there are that many wrecks and they are that concerned why don’t they use speed grates in the road like a toll booth?? Why is there no flashing lights warning you and why does the speed change so much so fast?? That one intersection generates 3X more than the entire city of chickasha that is 10x the population … What can you do with a small town police and small town judge?? I will never spend one dime in that town.. They are thieves as far as I’m conserned

  5. BW Says:

    I just got pulled over from those cops and harassed on the way back from Graham Texas. I have never did anything bad in my life and record is clean. I forgot my tag was out of date by 6 months and the Rush springs cops impounded it. Yes that was my fault. Asked me over an hour if I was drunk or taken drugs and Made me do the test as well while verbal abusiveness ensued. Then they mentioned jail and I freaked out hyperventilating and the cop had the audacity to tell me to be a man and take it. Told me I could not take much with me and I still took all my luggage in which the officer told me that I am not carrying this for you… Not that I was asking him to. Dropped me off at a Rush Spring gas station told me not to stay long. I live in OKC North and it took two hours to get ahold of my spouse and in rush hour it took every bit of this. They came back and harassed me saying they were going to jail me for being here to long and that it does not take THREE hours to drive that distance. Maybe if my spouse wasn’t working at the hospital it would have been sooner. I got the distinct impression that they harass there own town folk too but they can’t do anything about it.

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