11-11-05 - State troopers will be making overtime this weekend, and you could pay for it if you break the law.
Beginning Thursday at 10 p.m. a trooper stationed here will be responsible for writing tickets, working accidents, but mainly just a visual reminder to slow down, and they'll be getting paid time and a half.
O-DOT hasn't made a request like this in years. Typically, troopers can get compensatory shifts, but not overtime, but in the past two days they've had five accidents near the stateline where construction puts southbound traffic to a narrow one lane.
They're preparing for busy weekend traffic. O-DOT says the costs to provide safety over the weekend isn't much compared to the $25 million budget for this project.
Commander Charles Strasbaugh with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says, "It wouldn't be necessary to put a trooper there if the motorists would go ahead and on their own, slow down and drive carefully through these construction areas."
A rookie trooper makes $36,000 a year. That comes out over$ 25 an hour in overtime. O-DOT says there's no cost for safety.
O-DOT says the cost to pay troopers is budgeted into the project. Troopers will be taken off on Monday when O-DOT finishes the project.