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.
“Oil and gas activity has created unprecedented volumes of traffic in many parts of our state,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “It’s more important than ever for drivers to give their full attention to the road. They should also obey traffic laws and slow down when traveling through energy-producing communities.”
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, TxDOT 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.”
Several of the oversized signs were on display in Karnes City July 28 and 29.
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.