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Safety Initiatives

In 2009, there were 388 fewer fatalities on Texas highways, an 11 percent decrease from the previous year.

This continues a trend in decreasing fatalities in Texas for five out of the last six years. Since 2003, the annual number of traffic deaths in Texas has declined by over 19%.

In the last five years, TxDOT has dedicated $1.2 billion toward highway projects that have the greatest potential for reducing traffic crashes. That investment has paid off.

Safety Initiatives

Each year, TxDOT commissions research to develop new technology and improved structures and pavements to enhance the safety of Texas roads, bridges and tunnels.

Roadway Initiatives

We have implemented a combination of safety initiatives encompassing engineering, enforcement, education and infrastructure investment.

See these vital safety programs at work in Texas:

Title Format
Cable Barrier Safety Project Video Cable Barrier Safety Project Video WMV
Cantaloupe Safety Project Video Cantaloupe Safety Project Video WMV
Winona Safety Project Video Winona Safety Project Video WMV

Other safety initiatives include:

  • Cable barrier installations
  • Left lane restrictions for large commercial vehicles in metro areas
  • Wider travel lanes and shoulders
  • Divided highways
  • Dedicated left-turn lanes
  • Teen driver awareness program
  • Clearer highway signs
  • Keeping up with maintenance

Safety Bond Program

In 2003, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 14, a constitutional amendment making it possible for TxDOT to issue additional bonds for transportation projects. Thanks to the Legislature, TxDOT gained the authority to enter the bond market to finance needed transportation projects, including those specifically designed to improve safety.

In the last five years, TxDOT has dedicated $1.2 billion toward state highway safety projects. In 2004, 644 safety projects valued at $605 million were implemented. The 2009 Safety Bond program provided an additional $605 million for 355 new projects to improve highway safety. The program has helped TxDOT to do the following:

  • Widen 2,188 miles of narrow, two-lane roads
  • Install 1,030 miles of cable or concrete median barrier to help prevent head-on collisions
  • Install 272 left-turn lanes or continuous turn lanes on rural highways
  • Convert 9 existing four-lane undivided highways to four-lane divided highways
  • Construct 38 highway overpasses

Emergencies

The threat of emergencies such as hurricanes, wild fires, and flash floods underscores how crucial our highways are to our state's emergency evacuation system.

During Hurricane Ike, an estimated 100,000 homes were evacuated, pushing hundreds of people onto coastal highways in search of safety. Learning valuable lessons from Hurricane Katrina, the evacuation process had been refined by TxDOT working with state and federal emergency planners to make the evacuation process smoother, and safer for these evacuees.

All Texans are encouraged to learn about hurricane safety information and know emergency numbers for the areas in which they live.