Texas drivers reach grim milestone, TxDOT working to end the streak

It's been more than 20 years since there was a deathless day on Texas roads, and TxDOT is working to end the streak.
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 6:11 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - It’s been 21 years since the last time there was a day without a fatal crash in Texas, and TxDOT is pushing for change.

While TxDOT is working to make the roads safer through updates and construction, it’s also working to educate the public with its #EndTheStreakTX campaign.

Since Nov. 7, 2000, TxDOT said more than 75,000 people have died in preventable, fatal crashes, caused by things like speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving.

Texas DPS spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Howard said those are issues in Central Texas as well.

“When it’s raining, we see a whole lot of fatal crashes that occurred due to unsafe speed,” Sgt. Howard said. “So slowing down, the seatbelt, and we see impaired driving, whether it’s drugs, prescription pills, or alcohol.”

Through the #EndTheStreakTX campaign, TxDOT is bringing awareness to unsafe driving habits and the impact of them with stories of people affected by crashes on social media, like the story of Nathan Bryant.

Bryant considered Isaac Simmons a brother. Simmons was a tow truck driver killed in Fairfield earlier this year. He died two days after being struck by an airborne vehicle while he was pulling a disabled car off Interstate 45.

Bryant said you never know the impact of a person on your life until they’re gone, and he is begging people to watch out for tow truck drivers and other first responders.

“Slow down, move over. If you see flashing lights, they’re there for a reason,” Bryant said. “Not for show, it’s not to make us look cool. It’s there to protect our lives and the lives that are broke down on the side of the road.”

Sgt. Howard said the deaths are something troopers are working to end as well, through enforcement and education, but it’s something they can’t do alone.

“Don’t put yourself at risk by driving fatigued, by driving intoxicated, by being distracted by driving, by rushing to get to where you have to get to and just driving recklessly, in and out of traffic,” Sgt. Howard said. “Just don’t put yourself at risk.”

Heading into the holiday season, more people are expected to be traveling, and Sgt. Howard said you can expect to see more troopers out looking for issues like speeding, drunk driving and seatbelts during that time.

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