A recent proposal offers a way to cut down on the number of Oklahoma City tractor-trailer accidents: toll roads.

The idea is not new to the state. Oklahoma has built both rural and urban highways using money acquired from tolls. In this way, the state may be able to avoid increasing fuel taxes to pay for road construction costs.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has seen a number of construction projects come to a halt due to a lack of funding. These half-finished roads and bridges cause traffic jams, unnecessary backups, and may cause several accidents per year.

Increased truck traffic counts are becoming a concern on Oklahoma’s interstates. Monetizing portions of Oklahoma’s highways would not only provide funds for stalled road projects, but also add income for reconstruction and repair-meaning more roads, better roads, and more room for the influx of semis crossing the state.

Although federal law prohibits federally funded interstates from becoming toll roads, many existing toll roads are labeled as interstates. The Turner, Will Rogers and H.E. Bailey Turnpikes are all under federal regulations as part of Interstate 44.

However, Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation may allow some exceptions. For example, segments of some interstates may be monetized, and any carpool lanes designed for high-occupancy vehicles may be designated toll lanes.

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