TXDOT Kicks Off Campaign to Reduce Accidents

TXDOT Kicks Off Campaign to Reduce Accidents

by: Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The Texas Department of Transportation kicked off the "Be Safe, Drive Smart" campaign on Friday as they are hoping to keep the number of accidents down this year.

TXDOT, the Midland City Council, Odessa Police Department, Department of Public Safety and the oil and gas industry have teamed up with the goal to keep people safe behind the wheel.

"To remind people, especially people who live in the oil industries areas, to give commercial vehicles a little extra space and to drive safe going through energy work zones," Gene Powell with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

TXDOT tells NewsWest 9 that there has been a death on Texas roads every day since November 2003. The Midland City Council came on board with the initiative because of the increase of new residents in Midland and the Permian Basin.

"Citizens might not be used to the amount of trucks. They might not be aware of them or have the experience of driving with and interacting those trucks," Midland City Councilman, John B. Love, said.

The oil and gas industry got involved because they too get in serious wrecks around the state.

"It was our pleasure and our responsibility to help craft, be at the table and share some of the best practices and safety things that our companies and associations promote everyday," Luke Legate with Texas Oil and Gas Joint Association Education Initiative, said.

The first thing to start the campaign will be giant signs around town.

"These signs are meant to be conversation starters. People will see the signs and say that's pretty cool, what's that all about. Hopefully it will start the conversation to remind people that it really is important as individuals that we take care of ourselves, our loved ones and we watch out for other motorists while we are on the road," Powell said. 

"At the end of all of this, we're all Texans, we're all family members. Someone at home loves you. We can do this together, we can be safe and drive smart," Legate said.