New Campaign to Curb Eagle Ford Traffic Accidents

TxDOT: 3,450 Serious Traffic Accidents Recorded in 2013
Tanker Truck on the Highway

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The Eagle Ford Shale has brought many good things to South Texas, but an increase in serious and sometimes fatal traffic accidents hasn’t been one of them.

Last year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recorded 3,450 serious traffic crashes in the Eagle Ford Shale region, which was a 7% increase over 2012. 238 deaths resulted from these accidents. According to law enforcement, the leading causes of crashes in the region were failure to control speed and driver inattention.

TxDOT’s Answer to the Problem

In an effort to save lives and minimize the number of crashes, TxDOT will place over-sized traffic safety signs in the Eagle Ford and other energy producing areas throughout the state over the course of the year.

“oil and gas activity has created unprecedented volumes of traffic in many parts of our state,” said TxDOT Executive Director Joe Weber. “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.”

TxDOT’s $1.2-million campaign is called “Be Safe. Drive Smart.”  According to TxDOT, 30 large outdoor signs will be placed around the Eagle Ford Shale region for a at least one month in the summer and one month in the winter.  Here’s a look at what some of the signs will say:

  • 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
  • Give Us a Brake

In late July, TxDOT will install 9 giant oversized road signs in Karnes County, with similar messages. Signs will also be present at gas stations in the Eagle Ford region.

What Else is Being Done?

In addition to signs, TxDOT says it conducts training and safety activities throughout the industry. TxDOT and the Department of Transportation and Public Safety are also working with oil & gas companies to provide motorists and employees with driving tips and other important safety information, a TxDOT spokesman notes.

Read more at txdot.gov

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Kirk Eggleston

Kirk Eggleston

Contributor at EagleFordShale.com
Kirk Eggleston writes on significant news developments in the Eagle Ford and Bakken Shale plays. He is a former broadcast journalist, and has experience covering news and politics in the Texas and Louisiana markets.

Comments

  1. Sr. Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, ccvi says:

    Since I visit prisons, I travel the Eagle Ford Shale quite often to South Texas down IH35 and back and forth to San Antonio, Austin and East Texas. I have watched oil and gas development over the last 5 years. I was almost killed once as a oilfield waste tanker decided to pass a fracking crew caravan of trucks and equipment on a two lane highway with no shoulders in Gonzales County, coming straight at me head-on, full speed ahead, risking a head-on collision with me. Clearly, he would probably have survived; I would not have. I could say that the morning sun blinded him, but I was the one driving East. He was headed West in a great hurry. I saved my own life by leaving the road to a grassy area and came to a stop. Pretty scary. We have lots of out-of-state drivers, especially from Louisiana and Oklahoma who seem not to have been briefed on some uniquely Texas courtesies and are in an extreme, aggressive hurry weaving in and out on interstates. Most drivers are safe and courteous. I realize that many of these men remember the “bust” of the 1980’s when truckers had no work, and want to “make hay while the sun shines”, making as many loads as they can. But H\hedging on hours, driving using stimulants, even legal ones, breaking speed limits, taking dangerous risks and driving aggressively might end up bringing their families their life insurance money. That’s little comfort if it is spent on a lawsuit because that trucker was at fault in an accident that took another’s life as well as his or her own. That’s little comfort when a family is left without a Dad and a wife is left without her husband. Better to be safe than sorry, and be conscious that a trucker’s responsibility in the Eagle Ford Shale is no video game. It is for real and for keeps.

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