TxDOT has long held the belief that convincing drivers to “drive friendly” would lead to a reduction in vehicle collisions, however that technique has not worked as well as they had hoped. Specifically they point to an increase in the number of crashes involving vehicles and pedestrians. Also, the addition of handheld devices to the mix and a surge in the number of crashes involving distracted driving seem to indicate the state will need more than “friendly drivers” to turn around this trend.
Each year, Texas sees high numbers of crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists; in fact, in 2011, vehicles struck thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists resulting in 418 pedestrian fatalities and 45 bicyclist fatalities. These statistics, combined with 14,617 work zone crashes resulting in 115 deaths, has prompted TxDOT’s effort.
“As students return to school and throughout the year, remember to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. There’s no better time to remind drivers to get back-to-basics when it comes to safety on our roads,” said Carol Rawson, director, Traffic Operations Division of TxDOT. “We also want to remind our fellow Texans that TxDOT works year round to improve roads with upgrades and repairs; this work results in changing conditions on roadways, which is why it’s extremely important for drivers to remain alert at all times.”
Drivers in Yexas can expect increased police patrols with citations being issued to drivers who regularly violate even minor traffic laws or demonstrate an inability to maintain decorum on Texas roadways.