Increasing traffic, road damage spur efforts to address crashes
AUSTIN – In an effort to address traffic crashes and roadway conditions in the increasingly busy energy sectors of the state, the Texas Department of Transportation is continuing its ongoing “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” safety awareness campaign while also allocating more resources to these heavily impacted areas.
“Energy exploration and production continue to boost the state’s economy, but it’s imperative that safety remains a top priority in these regions,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “This year, in addition to our traditional funding for roadway repairs and upkeep, we will have additional money to put forth an even greater effort."
In November, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, which redirects a portion of oil and gas tax revenues into the State Highway Fund. Portions of that $1.74 billion will be disbursed to the state’s energy impacted areas to allow for road resurfacing, the building of passing lanes, ongoing maintenance and other roadway improvements.
Additionally, TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” driver education campaign uses billboards, gas pumps and other avenues to remind drivers to be safe when sharing the road with increased traffic, work crews and heavy, commercial trucks. “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” reminds drivers to:
Energy Sector Improvements
In September, TxDOT began a “surge” effort to combat road deterioration in energy-production areas. The effort focused on combining and rapidly deploying resources from around the state to address significant maintenance issues caused by heavy truck traffic in energy sector areas of the state. Recent improvements and work include:
In 2013 there were 148,612 crashes and 1,338 traffic deaths in the state’s five energy sectors. The number of crashes represents an increase of 7 percent from 2012 while the number of fatalities was up 4 percent. Preliminary 2014 data shows an increase in both fatalities and crashes in the energy sectors.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.
The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of Jan. 26, 2015.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.