The Austin Chronicle

Texas Department of Transportation to Eliminate Traffic Deaths by 2050?

Texas envisions safer roads

By Austin Sanders, June 7, 2019, News

The Texas Department of Transportation will work toward a goal of cutting the number of traffic deaths on the state's roadways in half by 2035 and eliminating all such deaths by 2050. The five-member Texas Transportation Commission approved a measure committing to the multinational road safety project Vision Zero, acknowledging that "a majority of motor vehicle crashes can be prevented." The state averages about 10 traffic deaths a day, with a total of 3,641 in 2018; the last day without a traffic fatality in Texas was back in 2000.

TxDOT is now tasked with creating a plan to achieve that ambitious goal, which could include implementing more rumble strips, running ad campaigns promoting the state's ban on using cell phones while driving, and improving road conditions to make driving safer. Austin officials adopted their own Vision Zero plan in 2015, with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The city saw some decrease in traffic deaths in previous years, but in May, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley reported that 30 people have been killed on Austin roads this year, a 30% increase compared to this time last year.

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