AUSTIN — The energy boom is bringing jobs and prosperity to communities, but it also is putting more traffic, work crews and trucks on local roadways. In an effort to reduce crashes in these increasingly busy areas, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” in energy work zones this summer.
“Oil and gas activity has created unprecedented volumes of traffic in many parts of our state,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “It’s more important than ever for drivers to give their full attention to the road. They should also obey traffic laws and slow down when traveling through energy-producing communities.”
In partnership with the oil and gas industry, law enforcement and local communities, TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign aims to reduce crashes and fatalities in the Granite Wash region.
The campaign urges drivers to take the following basic safety advice to reduce the risk of a crash:
· Always buckle up.
· Pay attention. (No talking or texting)
· Give trucks space.
· Drive a safe speed.
· Stop for all stop signs and red lights.
· Pass carefully.
In 2013, there were 173 traffic crashes in the Granite Wash region that resulted in serious injuries and 14 fatalities. According to law enforcement, the leading causes of crashes in the six-county Panhandle region were unsafe speed and driving while fatigued or asleep.