You are standing in the kitchen when she walks in to kiss you gently on the cheek. She smiles. She is excited. It’s a bank holiday weekend and your daughter is going to a party.
She is a straight college student who seems to flood the world with love. You are so proud of the woman she becomes.
“Don’t worry, mom,” she says. “I won’t be late.”
In an hour she will be dead.
In Texas, such terrible scenarios become reality every day. November 7th, 2000 was the last immortal day on the streets of Texas. For the past 19 years, someone has been killed in a traffic accident every day.
In each of those 19 years, more than 3,500 mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and children perished. That’s nearly 67,000 people killed in accidents in Texas. Just last year there were 3,647 people, and each one of them left a broken hearted trail. TxDOT launched the annual #EndTheStreakTX campaign asking all Texans to join in efforts to end this deadly 19 year old streak.
An average of 10 people die every day and because of them, I urge you to currently tell 10 people about our #EndTheStreakTX efforts. Text them or share on social media and tag at least 10 people. Ask them to share the message with 10 of their friends. We call this the Texas Day 10 Challenge, and we need your help to create a wave of commitment and support for ending this fatal trend.
It is painfully frustrating to know that curing this deadly epidemic does not require a labyrinthine system of algorithms or a miraculous scientific breakthrough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of all road accidents are preventable – they’re caused by our mistakes like speeding, texting and driving or drinking and driving.
Each of us has the power and responsibility to protect ourselves, our families and our passengers. The main causes of road deaths in 2018 were speeding, distracted driving, not keeping to a lane, and exposure to alcohol and drugs – all avoidable factors.
In May 2019, the Texas Transportation Commission approved two key goals related to the safety of transportation systems. The first is to cut the number of road deaths in Texas by half by 2035. The second is to have no road fatalities by 2050.
This “road to zero” is a big goal that requires the support of local governments, law enforcement, and all drivers on the streets of Texas. And one of our first steps is to end the daily deaths on our streets simply by making better choices.
TxDOT will allocate an additional $ 600 million over the next two years for further safety improvements along the roads of Texas. At TxDOT we spend a lot of time, money and energy keeping our Texans safe. We will continue to build our roads to be more forgiving of the drivers’ mistakes.
They can make a difference too. To be responsible. Be a role model for your children. Be the driver you want next to you, in front of you or behind you on the road. We must all work together to #EndTheStreakTX.