Area law enforcement agencies team up to enforce contributing factors of crashes

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LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a news release from the Lubbock Police Department:

Area law enforcement agencies are joining efforts to continue enforcing safe driving in Lubbock following a year in which the city experienced a high number of traffic fatalities.

Beginning Wednesday, Lubbock Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office will partner their enforcement actions to focus on speeding violations and the failure to move over or slow down when a stationary emergency vehicle, tow truck or TxDOT vehicle have lights activated on roadways.

As the partnership between the departments continues throughout the year, the top contributing factors in crashes will also be targeted. The top three contributing factors for crashes in Lubbock for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were speeding, disregarding stop signs or traffic lights, and failing to yield right of way when turning left.

“The Lubbock Police Department is proud to continue our past partnership to increase safety on our roads,” Lubbock Chief of Police Floyd Mitchell said. “The data on crashes for the last several years is clear – drivers need to slow down and follow the laws of the road. Too many Lubbock citizens are losing their lives on our roads. We need to take intentional steps through increased traffic enforcement to alter driving behavior to keep each other safe.” 

“The enhancement of highway and public safety in Lubbock is paramount.” stated Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director J.C. Longway. “The Texas Department of Public Safety will be working closely with the Lubbock Police Department and Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office in preventing the senseless loss of life and minimizing property damage through strategic traffic enforcement initiatives aimed at traffic law violators in order to create a deterrent, with the goal of reducing auto crashes in identified areas of concern.”

“Continued efforts with our public safety partners is paramount to reducing the significant number of serious motor vehicle accidents in our community, in particular those causing fatalities and serious injury,” Lubbock County Sherriff Kelly Rowe said. “While we implement coordinated initiatives and targeted traffic enforcement strategies to minimize and deter the most serious traffic law violations, it is even more important that drivers take the responsibility to know those laws, drive safely according to the roadway conditions, eliminate overly aggressive or impatient maneuvering, move over or slow down for emergency vehicles whether they are responding to a call or stationary alongside the roadway, and most importantly eradicate those activities that serve only as a distraction and lead to many of these otherwise avoidable crashes.”

Move Over, Slow Down
If there is a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, a tow truck, or TxDOT vehicle with their lights activated, or a different visual sign, Texas law states that a driver must either:

• Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction), or

• Slowdown 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)

(News release from the Lubbock Police Department)

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