REGIONAL NEWS

TxDOT Launches Game to Combat Distracted Driving

August 8, 2020

EZ Rider to Receive New Buses

October 31, 2020

$25 Million Grant Provided for I-20 Improvements Near Midland in Permian Basin

September 11, 2020

I-20 Getting 6 Lanes From 2025-30

September 11, 2020

Road Project Begins in Odessa, Multiple Roads to be Closed for Work

October 5, 2020

PSP: Infrastructure Investment Needed to Fulfill Permian’s Promise

October 6, 2020

Project to Expand Portion of I-20 Given Green Light

October 21, 2020

Midland City and County Officials Celebrate Reopening of Cotton Flat Road

October 22, 2020

 

TXDOT PROJECT UPDATES

DECEMBER 4, 2020

REEVES COUNTY – An online presentation has been posted to www.txdot.gov to discuss Interstate 20 from 0.3 miles west of County Road 419 (Shaw Road) to 1.5 miles east of County Road 117 (Collie Road) near Pecos in Reeves County.

The proposed improvements to this section of I-20 would include reconstructing main lanes and frontage roads, reconfiguring some interchanges, building one new interchange with a grade separation, reconfiguring ramps, and converting frontage roads to one-way operation.

Although additional right of way would be required, no residential or non-residential structures are anticipated to be displaced at this time. Information concerning services and benefits available to affected property owners and information about the tentative schedule for right-of-way acquisition and construction can be obtained from the TxDOT Odessa District Office by calling (432) 498-4645.

No construction funding has been identified for the project at this time. This stage is to gather information and begin planning improvements. Likewise, no construction timeline has been established.

To view the presentation, go to www.txdot.gov and search keywords “Reeves County” and open the search result for the Virtual Public Meeting. After the presentation is uploaded on Dec. 3, clicking on the photograph will guide viewers through the virtual public meeting room where they can watch the presentation, crash analysis, view typical sections and environmental constraints data and get information on how to comment. The same information is listed lower on the webpage in the Downloads section.

TxDOT will be taking comments on the project through Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Formal comments may be provided by mail or email as explained on the webpage. The webpage also provides links to exhibits, environmental constraint maps, and other general information.

 

Responses to comments received will be available online at www.txdot.gov, using the keyword search above, once they have been prepared.

 

If you have any general questions or concerns regarding the proposed project or the virtual public meeting, please contact Advanced

Planning Engineer Gabriel Ramirez, P.E., at gabriel.ramirez@txdot.gov or call him at (432) 498-4645.

 

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

NOVEMBER 16, 2020

ODESSA – A project to install traffic signals at U.S. Highway 385 and 87th Street in north Odessa is scheduled to begin this month (Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020). U.S. 385 is also referred to locally as Andrews Highway.

In addition to the traffic signals, significant left turn lane improvements on Highway 385 will be built in a way that is unique in the Odessa District. The left turn lanes will be slightly offset from each other and governed by their own signal heads. A concrete median will separate the turn lanes from main lane traffic.

New triangular concrete medians will also change how the Highway 385 service roads connect with 87th Street. Service road traffic will be forced to turn right at 87th Street, regardless of the direction of traffic. This is being done to improve safety by reducing conflict points in the intersection and improving efficiency of the signals. The right turns will be governed by a yield condition. Service road traffic will not be allowed to cross 87th Street. The new arrangement may force a small percentage of motorists to alter their commuting patterns.

The medians will also be raised to improve drainage at the intersection and allow water to flow under the road through culverts.

The configuration of 87th Street will also change. Once the project is completed, 87th Street will have a through lane, a dedicated right turn lane and a dedicated left turn lane in each direction. Concrete medians will separate eastbound and westbound traffic.

The speed limit will be reduced to 50 miles per hour in the work zone. A width restriction of 11 feet will be in place in the work zone.

The project is expected to take about 14 months to complete.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes. Large, slow-moving vehicles may inadvertently enter a lane of travel. Slowing down and giving extra space between vehicles is key to a safe working environment.

Reece Albert Inc. of San Angelo and Midland won the project with a low bid of a little less than $2.94 million. This is more expensive than just installing traffic signals because of the amount of road work and drainage work involved in the project.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

OCTOBER 30, 2020

ODESSA ­– A project to rebuild about 9.5 miles of U.S. Highway 385 in northern Ector County is scheduled

to start in November. The project goes from FM 1882 (West County Road) to the Andrews County line.

In addition to rehabilitating and resurfacing the road, a southbound turn lane and a northbound acceleration lane will be added at Cottonwood Road. Other crossovers along the corridor will also be improved. Overhead illumination is planned at Cottonwood as well. Signage and some drainage structures will be replaced.

Lane closures will be needed in the project, but one lane will always be kept open in both directions on the main lanes.

A construction zone speed limit of 60 miles per hour will be in place for the project. A construction zone speed limit of 45 will be in place near the intersections of Highway 158 and Loop 338 when work is occurring in those areas.

A width restriction of 12 feet will also be in place through the work zone.

Work is scheduled to begin at the Andrews County line and move south.

The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete and should be finalized in mid-2022.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes. Large, slow-moving vehicles may inadvertently enter a lane of travel. Slowing down and giving extra space between vehicles is key to a safe working environment.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $20.1 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

OCTOBER 2, 2020

ODESSA – Work on Highway 385 throughout Odessa is scheduled to start a new phase the week of Oct. 5, 2020. (Reminder that Highway 385 has two other local names: Andrews Highway and Grant Avenue.)

Night work will start between Eighth Street and Second Street. The first stages will consist of removing brick pavers at crosswalks and filling the area in with temporary material. All crosswalks will be removed along and adjacent to Highway 385 (Grant Avenue). After the pavers are removed, the area will be paved, also at night. This should take less than six weeks to complete.

Meanwhile, work continues at the intersection of Highway 385 (Andrews Highway) and Highway 191 (42nd Street). As work proceeds, traffic patterns will change in the intersection. One such change is planned in mid-October. The concrete work should be completed before the Thanksgiving holiday. Similar work is also ongoing at the intersection of Yukon Road and Highway 385 (Andrews Highway).

After the concrete work at the two intersections is completed, Highway 385 between Highway 191 and Yukon will be resurfaced. A firm timeline for that has not been established.

Initial paving work on Highway 385 (South Grant) from East Pearl Street to Interstate 20 has been completed.

A final surface will be done in Spring 2021 along the entire project.   

Some traffic signal upgrades will also occur in the corridor. This work should not have major impacts on motorists. There may be brief periods when lights are in all-flashing mode or if all-way stops are employed for short durations.

Night work is used at times to reduce the impact the project has on local traffic. Working at night might also reduce exposure to heavy traffic flows that are common during the day, thereby reducing risks for work crews.

It is important to remember that concrete sometimes needs time to cure, so it may seem like a project is dormant during those times.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in place throughout the corridor.

Since both directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. Slower speeds are also advised.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2021.

Reece Albert Inc. of Midland and San Angelo won the project with a low bid of a little less than $11.7 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

JULY 15, 2020

NORTH LOOP 338 TO GET OVERPASS AT HIGHWAY 385 IN ECTOR COUNTY

18-month project will take North Loop 338 over Highway 385

ODESSA – A project to build an overpass that takes North Loop 338 over U.S. Highway 385 in northern Ector County is scheduled to start in late July.

The decision to take Loop 338 over Highway 385 was made at the request of the City of Odessa and the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization. Having Loop 338 go over Highway 385 will help the traffic flow on Loop 338.

The project area will be along North Loop 338 and stretch about a mile on each side of Highway 385.

As the project progresses, traffic will shift many times. Please obey all warning signs and any flaggers in the area. At times, there will be only one lane available in each direction, and traffic will be sharing lanes that are currently one-way roads. For example, southbound Highway 385 will carry both directions of traffic while northbound Highway 385 is closed. This will happen in all directions at various times.

Ramps connecting North Loop 338 to Highway 385 will also change the configuration of the current intersection. Traffic patterns may change overnight, but message boards are planned to convey changes several days before the happen.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in effect on both roads during the project. A 65-mile-per-hour speed limit will be put in place on both roads as well in the interest of safety. Please obey any signage.

Since all directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. The project should take about 18 months and is scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $25.3 million.

 

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746

JULY 2, 2020

ODESSA – A project to rehabilitate a section of Highway 385 in Odessa is scheduled to begin in July. The road is also known locally as Andrews Highway.

The primary focus of work will be to resurface Highway 385 from Yukon Road to Highway 191 (known locally as 42nd Street). There will be times when the contractor will be working around the clock in an effort to reduce the time the project takes. Night work is planned at times to reduce the impact the project has on local traffic. Working at night might also reduce exposure to heavy traffic flows that are common during the day.

Intersection improvements are also planned at the intersection of Highway 385 and Highway 191 (Andrews Highway and 42nd Street). The plan is to have that work completed before the 2020 Permian Basin International Oil Show scheduled in late October.

Some traffic signal upgrades will also occur in the corridor. Motorists shouldn’t really notice any difference other than brief periods when lights may be in all-flashing mode or if all-way stops are employed for short durations.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in place throughout the corridor.

Since both directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. Slower speeds are also advised.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2021.

Reece Albert Inc. of Midland and San Angelo won the project with a low bid of a little less than $11.7 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

JUNE 4, 2020

MIDLAND – A project to overlay a little more than 12 miles of the Tom Craddick Highway is scheduled to start the week of June 8. The Tom Craddick Highway is also known as the Highway 349 reliever route and goes from FM 1788 to Highway 349 in southern Martin County just north of the Midland County line.

The project will consist of placing an asphalt overlay on all lanes. Some widening work will also be done at the intersection of Holiday Hill Road to add acceleration and deceleration lanes.

Work will be done in 3-mile sections. Since lane closures will be needed in the project, a pilot car will be in use for the project, so delays are likely. A width restriction of 11 feet will be put in place in the work zone.

The speed limit will be about reduced to 65 miles per hour in the work zone.

 

The project is expected to take about six months to complete and should be finalized in early 2021.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey pilot cars, warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes. Large, slow-moving vehicles may inadvertently enter a lane of travel. Slowing down and giving extra space between vehicles is key to a safe working environment.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $7.5 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

TXDOT NEWS RELEASES

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

AUSTIN – By now most Texans have seen the informative — and often clever —  messages above Texas highways on digital message boards that encourage safer driving.

Well now it’s your time to shine. TxDOT is launching a statewide Digital Highway Sign Contest to find the best and most creative safe-driving message that is related to impaired driving (drunk or drugged driving,) distracted driving (texting while driving,) not wearing seatbelts and/or speeding – the deadliest mistakes drivers make on Texas roadways.

Since the majority of crashes are preventable, TxDOT uses these creative messages, which often are related to current events and pop culture, as part of an effort to encourage drivers to improve their behavior behind the wheel.

Texas drivers will be able to submit their entries through Dec. 8 and there is no limit to the number of entries a contestant can submit. The top 10 entries will be posted on social media and voted on by the public. A “like” or “share” equals one point. The top three winners will see their message in bright lights over highways across the state.

The contest, which runs simultaneously with #EndTheStreakTX, is another way in which the agency is trying to get more drivers educated about the state’s steady death rate and committed to improving their driving habits.

Please visit TxDOT.gov to submit an entry and use the following guidelines when creating your message:

  • The message must bring awareness to the dangers of common driver mistakes such as distracted driving, impaired driving, not using seat belts, speeding, etc. We also will accept other rules of the road, such as “no tailgating” and “left lane for passing only.”

  • #Hashtags, phone numbers and website addresses are not allowed. No offensive language.

  • Signs accommodate 2 slides, each with 3 lines and up to 15 characters per line. Feel free to use both slides (6 lines) or just one slide (3 lines).

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (430) 498-4746.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

AUSTIN – Don’t mess with Texas is launching a contest as big as the Lone Star State to find its new anti-litter theme song. The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” invites Texans to compose an original song to compete for prizes provided by iHeart Media, Guitar Center and the School of Rock. Two winners will be selected in two different categories with each winning valuable prizes.

“The contest is an exciting way for Texans to add their voice to Don’t mess with Texas,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Don’t mess with Texas campaign. “We are seeking fresh and unique songs, written by Texans, to creatively communicate the importance of keeping our state clean and litter-free.”   

The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” is open to Texas residents, ages 13 and above. Contest rules and entry criteria can be found at Dontmesswithtexas.org. Contestants should submit their completely original song, up to 30 seconds long, by video, incorporating the Don’t mess with Texas tagline and an anti-littering message. To be eligible, entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Don’t mess with Texas will choose one winner in the Best Original Song category, who will receive a home recording studio donated by Guitar Center. The second winner will be chosen from a band or musician currently enrolled at the School of Rock for their best original song and accompanying essay. This winner will receive a School of Rock Scholarship donated by iHeart Media. The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” winners will also join the ranks of other notable performers featured in the Don’t mess with Texas campaign throughout the years including Willie Nelson, George Strait, The Randy Rogers Band and Las Fenix.

Don’t mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The program includes a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, annual “Trash-Off” community outreach events and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700. 

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

TxDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign reminds drivers and passengers about the  importance of wearing seat belts

Nov. 18, 2020
 

AUSTIN – With health and safety a top priority for millions of Texans, TxDOT reminds motorists of one of the simplest and easiest precautions everyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones: buckling up

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. For those in pickups, seat belts reduce the risk of dying by 60% since pickups are more likely to roll over than passenger vehicles

.

“Our annual Click It or Ticket campaign is about saving lives,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “While almost 91% of Texans have gotten into the habit of using seat belts, there are still far too many motorists who are taking unnecessary chances by not buckling up. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, wearing a seat belt—day and night—is the single most effective way to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a crash.”

TxDOT officials report that in 2019 there were 925 traffic fatalities involving an unbuckled driver or passenger, a 6% drop over the previous year. The 12-county Odessa District had 53 fatalities and 89 serious injuries involving an unbuckled driver or passenger. Of those fatalities, four were in the city of Odessa and six were in the city of Midland.

Although around 9% of Texans do not wear a seat belt, the lack of seat belt usage was reported in 42% of traffic fatalities for those people who had the option to use a seat belt (excluding pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle fatalities).

In addition, a 2019 Texas A&M Transportation Institute survey noted that drivers and passengers in 18 Texas cities buckle up less at night (between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.) than during the day. In Texas last year, of crashes in which an unbuckled driver or passenger was killed, 59% happened during nighttime hours (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.). Seat belt use among pickup drivers and passengers also continues to lag behind that of other motorists. Almost 46% of the 499 pickup drivers killed in crashes last year weren’t buckled up.

From November 16 to November 29, as we approach and celebrate Thanksgiving and more drivers take to the road, state troopers, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies statewide will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws. Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Click It or Ticket initiative in Texas is estimated to have saved more than 6,234 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries, and resulted in $23.6 billion in economic savings since the campaign began in 2002.

The Click It or Ticket campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of July 20, 2020.

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail and public transportation across the state.

Connecting You with Texas

NOVEMBER 3, 2020

AUSTIN — The sound of baseball and the smell of barbecue fills a North Austin neighborhood. It’s the start of a new summer and 14-year-old Alexei Bauereis is walking his friend home through a crosswalk.

Filled with the excitement only a new summer can bring, Alexei likely didn’t see the car speeding toward the crosswalk. The 19-year-old driver didn’t see Alexei either, because he was changing the music on his phone.

Alexei died instantly, along with his dream of becoming a world class ballet dancer.

“It’s a terrible tragedy not just for the person involved and not even just their family, but a much broader community,” said his father, Eric Bauereis.

This November 7, Texas marks 20 years of daily deaths on our roadways with more than 70,000 innocent lives like Alexei’s lost to preventable fatal crashes. Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan, a champion for road safety and TxDOT’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign, believes ending this streak is attainable, but will require every Texan’s commitment.

 

“Last year, 20 Texas counties actually had zero deaths on their roadways – that tells me we can end the streak of daily deaths in Texas,” Ryan said. “This is why in 2019 the Texas Transportation Commission adopted a new goal of having zero deaths on our roadways by 2050, and to cut the number of fatalities in half by 2035. We will do our part; and we need drivers to do theirs.”

An average of 10 people die every day in crashes in the state.

“The effort to end the streak of daily deaths in Texas is a shared responsibility and we are committed to including safety enhancements in every project we build or maintain,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “It’s going to take education, engineering and enforcement to get this done, and that’s why this call to action to every Texan is so imperative.”

What we’re asking is simple: when you get behind the wheel buckle up; pay attention and avoid all distractions like phones; never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs; watch your speed, and always drive to the conditions around you.

Because #EndTheStreakTX is a social media, grassroots and word-of-mouth effort, Texans are being asked to do any or all the following to raise awareness:   

  • Post pictures on social media with this downloadable sign displaying the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX

  • Use one of our social media profile filters

  • Join the #TexasTag10 challenge on social media and tag ten family members or friends and encourage them to say what they will do differently to avoid a fatal crash on our roads.

 

Earlier this year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic levels on Texas highways dropped nearly 44 percent in some parts of the state. This decrease in traffic encouraged TxDOT to think the horrific streak might finally come to an end. Instead, the death rate was unchanged, even with fewer drivers on Texas roads.

“We can and we must do better,” said Ryan.   

For media inquiries, contact Odessa PIO Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

OCTOBER 9, 2020

AUSTIN ­– Fatalities from crashes involving pedestrians are on the rise in Texas and now account for nearly one in five of all of the state’s traffic deaths. Last year, 668 people died in pedestrian-related crashes in Texas, up by 5 percent from 2018, and more than 1,300 were seriously injured. Crashes involving bicyclists in 2019 also claimed the lives of 68 people and seriously injured 313. These numbers follow an alarming trend that has seen pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increase over the last five years.

Safety officials attribute a primary cause of the increase to people’s widespread failure to follow state laws designed to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. To that end, TxDOT is kicking off a new public awareness campaign this month that urges all Texans to drive smart, walk smart and bike smart .

“Whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot, or riding a bicycle, we’re reminding Texans to make traffic safety their number one concern when they’re out and about,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of looking after ourselves and others in our communities, and we’re asking the public to apply that same responsibility to safely sharing the road and obeying traffic laws.”

Almost half of all pedestrians and cyclists who died last year on Texas streets and highways were between the ages of 21 and 49. Most were living in urban areas, and the majority — 73 percent of the pedestrians and 90 percent of the cyclists — were male.

No matter how Texans choose to travel, TxDOT wants them to know and follow state laws for safe driving, walking and biking. Drivers should take specific steps to protect pedestrians and bicyclists who are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. State laws mandate stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, yielding the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists when turning, and passing cyclists at a safe distance and giving them room to ride.

Pedestrians should cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks, obey all traffic and crosswalk signals, and always use sidewalks when available. If there isn’t a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the street or road, facing oncoming traffic.

Like drivers, bicyclists are required to obey all traffic signs and signals, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. State laws also dictate that those who ride bicycles must use hand signals when turning or stopping, ride with traffic, use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb, and when riding at night, make sure their bikes have a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.

More than 3,000 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred last year in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, resulting in 287 fatalities. These cities also saw more than 1,100 bicycle crashes that resulted in 30 deaths and 113 serious injuries.

In the 12-county Odessa District in 2019, there were 84 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 12 fatalities and 26 serious injuries. There were also 12 traffic crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in one fatality and one serious injury in 2019 in the district.

In the cities of Odessa and Midland in 2019, there were 59 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in six fatalities and 18 serious injuries. From 2015–2019, pedestrian fatalities in Odessa and Midland increased 100 percent and serious injuries increased 33 percent despite the overall number of crashes involving pedestrians dropping 14 percent.

While there were no fatalities or serious injuries in bicycle crashes in 2019 in the cities of Odessa and Midland, there have been seven bicycling fatalities since 2015 in the two counties.

“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” and TxDOT’s pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative are key components of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4948.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of May 8, 2020.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2020

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS® CALLS ON ICONIC TEXAS VOICES TO STOP PPE LITTER

Matthew McConaughey, Eva Longoria, George Strait and more, urge Texans to clean up their act.

AUSTIN – With a growing number of discarded face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes found littering roadways and parking lots, Don’t mess with Texas called on the help of some celebrity friends to remind fellow Texans that the only safe way to dispose of used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in a trash can.

Oscar winner and Minister of Culture/M.O.C. Matthew McConaughey and country music legend George Strait are lending their voices to new video public service announcements (PSAs) that urge Texans to clean up their act, including proper disposal of used PPE. The PSAs will air on TV networks, cable channels and digital platforms starting this week. Other Texas celebrities joining McConaughey and Strait in raising awareness about the issue are Mark CubanEva LongoriaMarsai MartinAlly Brooke and Brittany Broski. Each are using their social media channels to share a personal video message reminding followers that Don’t mess with Texas means don’t litter.    

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing a significant uptick in the amount of PPE litter. Not only is it unsightly, it is also harmful to the environment and a danger to public health,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Don’t mess with Texas campaign. “When you’re done with your masks, gloves and wipes, do the right thing and dispose of them properly. This simple action helps keep Texas clean and safe.”

To promote pride in keeping Texas litter-free, Don’t mess with Texas cloth face masks are now available for purchase at TexasHighways.com in the Mercantile shop. The masks are washable and reusable, and include a pocket for a filter to be inserted. 

Approximately 362 million pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roads every year with items discarded from vehicles accounting for half of all litter. It is illegal to litter in Texas. Those who are caught littering can face a fine of $500. If the tossed litter weighs more than five pounds, the fine can increase up to $2,000.

Don’t mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The program includes a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, annual “Trash-Off” community outreach events and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or call him at 432-498-4746.

JULY 13, 2020

AUSTIN — On average, one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads, and transportation officials are urging Texans to exercise caution and limit distractions  while on the road, as traffic increases during the summer months.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign, which begins this month, aims to alert drivers to the risks that motorcyclists face and suggests safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves. The campaign reminds drivers that motorcycles are small and can be hard to see. In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas, and more than 1,800 were seriously injured.

“The six-month period from May through October is the deadliest for motorcycle riders and accounted for 61 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Texas last year,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “That’s why we are urging drivers to Look Twice for Motorcycles-there’s a life riding on it.”

Safety experts say that crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers make left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, misjudging the distance and speed of the motorcycle. Last year, 30 percent of Texas motorcycle fatalities occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related.

TxDOT wants drivers to follow these safety tips to prevent vehicle/motorcycle crashes:

  • Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s easy to misjudge the speed and proximity of an oncoming motorcycle. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.

  • Pay special attention at intersections. Close to one-third of motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.

  • Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.

  • Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots and always use turn signals.

  • Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.

  • Stay back. If you are behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal that they are reducing their speed.

  • Slow down. As always, please obey the posted speed limit.

The highest numbers of fatal motorcycle crashes last year occurred in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and Odessa.

The “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.  Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txDOT.gov or (432) 498-4746.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of June 6, 2020.

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432-617-0129

9601 Wright Dr. Ste 1
Midland, Texas 79711

info@permianbasinmpo.com

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