February 20, 2020
  • 2:34 pm Committee Leadership Comes into Focus for 116th Congress
  • 2:22 pm Interstate System Report Calls for More Funding, Tolling, VMT Fees, and Cybersecurity
  • 2:15 pm In Memoriam: President George H. W. Bush, ISTEA, and Transportation
  • 1:56 pm Growth Projected for Transportation Projects, but Costs a Challenge
  • 1:35 pm FAA Reshuffles Executives, Plans Drone Identification Rulemaking in Spring 2019
  • 1:28 pm Predictive Technology Helps Reduce Crashes on I-15 Corridor in Las Vegas
  • 1:14 pm Video Report: MoDOT Produces Multi-Lingual Safety Message
  • 1:11 pm PennDOT Nears Completion of Rapid Bridge Replacement Project
  • 1:08 pm Infrastructure Grants Awarded to “Smaller” South Dakota Communities
  • 11:32 am President’s FY 2021 Budget Proposes $1T of Total Infrastructure Investment
  • 11:31 am Safety, Reliability Key Issues at Autonomous Vehicle Hearing
  • 11:26 am Improving Railroad Crossing Safety Focus of House Hearing
  • 11:22 am Trump Administration Issues PNT Policy for Critical Infrastructure
  • 11:19 am FTA Offering New Grant Funding for Transit Bus, Ferry Projects

Close to half of all of Texas’ traffic fatalities occur in the state’s oil and gas production regions, so the Texas Department of Transportation is placing special emphasis on that area as it kicks off its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” motor vehicle safety campaign.

In 2018, the agency said 1,673 people died and more than 6,000 were seriously injured in crashes in the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale, and Permian Basin – areas of Texas where major oil and gas exploration is underway.

Those traffic deaths represent a 4 percent increase compared to 2017, TxDOT said, with failure to control speed as the most-often cited factor in those fatal crashes, followed by “driver inattention” caused by things such as looking at a cell phone.

[Side note: TxDOT is using cable barriers more frequently to prevent crossover crashes on major highways. But in the video below, the agency highlights how to remove safely remove vehicles entangled in such roadway devices.]

“Driving conditions have changed dramatically in many parts of Texas,” said James Bass, TxDOT’s executive director, in a statement.

“A big increase in the number of heavy trucks and traffic on state and county roads adds to the complexity of driving – something we always need to give our full attention to, while also obeying traffic laws,” he added. “That’s why we are urging every motorist to drive smart and take simple precautions to prevent crashes.”

Bass noted that TxDOT will be taking its safety message to community events in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale in October; events where drivers can test their “street smarts” at an interactive exhibit outfitted with games, quizzes, and video displays that remind motorists how to safely navigate the challenges of driving in high-traffic oil and gas production areas.


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