I continue to get regular questions about what speed limits on county roads and why I patrol them so I thought I would re-visit that issue.

First of all county roads, regardless if they are paved or not are public roads. As a matter of fact, any road maintained by the county commissioners with public funds and equipment is a public road and classified as a highway. Therefore, if there is an accident on any county road the OHP must investigate it. We are also expected to patrol county roads in hopes of preventing accidents.

Most counties in Oklahoma post the speed limits. Cimarron County does not. It is up to the county commissioners to do that. If the commissioners do not post the speed limits on county roads then Oklahoma Statute 47-11-801 E. applies. It simply states no person shall operate any vehicle on a county road at a speed greater than 55 mph. Some people actually seem to think that is too slow but county roads, especially in Cimarron County are not marked. They have no shoulders and even if paved the surface is often loose. There is no way in my opinion it is safe to drive faster than 55 mph on our county roads. Anyone driving a vehicle responsibly should agree with that in my opinion.

One downside to the county road speed limits not being posted is that in Texas to the south most of the farm to market roads are posted at 70 mph. When you enter Oklahoma however the roads are not nearly as good in most places and they basically go from a good marked and laned road to un-marked chip-sealed roads.

Some may howl at being ticketed after entering Oklahoma and getting caught at 70 plus when the speed limit is 70 across the line but when the surface changes and the quality of the road goes down the basic speed rule applies anyway. You must slow down.........

What can be done about the limits not being posted on county roads??? Talk to your county commissioners. Apparently no one has encouraged them to post the speed limits. They are not required to do so by any law I know of. Signs cost money and are often damaged, vandalized and stolen. My job is to enforce existing law. Quite simply, the county road speed limit is and always has been 55 mph unless posted otherwise.

When modern state and federal highways such as U.S. 287 with mostly good shoulders, passing lanes, markings etc. are all posted at 65 mph speed LIMIT do you really need a trooper or other law enforcement to write you a ticket to show you any faster than 55 mph is too fast on county roads??? I donít really think so. I think they call it common sense........

Be safe out there.