AUSTIN — The energy boom is bringing jobs and prosperity to communities in the Eagle Ford Shale region, but it also is putting more traffic, work crews and trucks on local roadways. In an effort to reduce crashes in these increasingly busy areas, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” in energy work zones this summer.
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 Eagle Ford Shale region. To help encourage safe driving habits, Tx- DOT 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 3,450 traffic crashes in the Eagle Ford Shale region that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, an increase of 7 percent over the previous year. The result was 238 fatalities in the 26-county Eagle Ford Shale region that stretches from Laredo to Huntsville. According to law enforcement, the leading causes of crashes in the region were failure to control speed and driver inattention.