SAN ANGELO, Texas- As temperatures rise and the spring season arrives, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to ‘Be Safe and Drive Smart’.
“Everybody needs to do their part. It cannot be said enough, as long as we have fatalities, we always have to be raising awareness and raising that education. We want everyone to get home at night,” said Mona Lisa Fischer with TXDOT San Angelo.
The latest traffic data from 2021 shows a 20% increase in pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes.
“Now this is an outstanding number, 841 people died in pedestrian crashes. We also know in bicycle fatalities we’ve had about 92 fatalities statewide,” said Fischer.
The Texas Department of Public Safety tells us that taking small precautions to avoid these crashes plays a large part in lowering those numbers.
“Crossing at the proper locations, if you don’t have a crosswalk go to the corner of the street,” said Sgt. Justin Baker with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “When you’re walking on the highway we want to remember that you’re supposed to walk facing traffic not with traffic, that way you can see the vehicles and vehicles can see you.”
Cyclists and drivers should ensure they are watching for the arrows on the road to determine who is allowed and when.
“You can tell that by the number of arrows in that designated lane. If it’s just one arrow, it’s just for the bicyclists. If there are 2 arrows with that bicycle mark on the roadway that means it’s for bicycles and vehicles. Bicycles must follow the same laws as motor vehicles,” said Sgt. Baker.
Many of us think ‘oh that will never happen to me’ but fatalities happen in the blink of an eye, even in the most familiar places.
“In areas like downtown, it’s common to say ‘hey let’s dart to that shop across the street’. Again, we have to make sure we’re using our proper locations for crossing and looking both ways,” said Sgt. Baker.
The ‘Be safe. Drive smart.’ initiative ties in with the ‘End the Streak’ campaign in hopes Texas will soon have a deathless day on our roadways.