“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 Permian Basin region. To help encourage safe driving habits, TxDOT will place oversized traffic safety signs in energy-producing areas. These signs will remind local residents and travelers to “Give Trucks Space,” “Drive Now, Text Later,” “Buckle Up Every Ride,” “Really, Stop Means Stop,” “Drive Friendly,” “Pass With Care,” “Not So Fast,” “Drink, Drive, Go to Jail” and “Give Us a Brake.”
In 2013, there were 4,411 traffic crashes in the Permian Basin region that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. The result was 365 fatalities in the 59-county Permian Basin region, which covers 75,000 square miles. Those fatalities represent a 15-percent increase from 2012. According to law enforcement, the leading causes of crashes in the region were failure to control speed and driver inattention.
(Press Release by the Texas Dept. of Transportation)