Lubbock, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation rolled out its new campaign called “Be Safe. Drive Smart” after deaths caused by traffic crashes in oil and gas regions.

According to the press release, Texas has five main energy regions, The Permian Basin, Eagle Ford shale, Anadarko Basin and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale. With Lubbock being included in the Permian Basin.

According to TxDOT, the new campaign was released because of the traffic crashes and deaths due to semi-trucks and heavy trucks in those energy-based counties.

Dianah Ascencio with Lubbock TxDOT said, “Last year in the Permian Basin area, there were 394 traffic deaths.” Ascencio continued to say “…just in the energy-producing sectors of the state, about a fourth of those fatalities happened in those energy sectors.”

Ascencio said when driving next to heavy trucks or tanks, make sure to check all your surroundings and make sure to leave enough space in between the car and big trucks.

The campaign is targeted to lower the number of deaths here locally, Ascencio said.

“It’s also important for them to know what’s behind them, to look into into their rearview mirror, see what traffic is coming up behind them, just to make sure that they are safe,” said Ascencio, “that they’re alert, and that if they need to slow down, maybe try to pull over, if they need to respond to what could possibly be an emergency situation, that they’ll be prepared.”