New Campaign to Curb Eagle Ford Traffic Accidents

Tanker Truck on the Highway
Tanker Truck on the Highway

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.