SAN ANTONIO – It’s a streak the state doesn’t want to continue. Sunday will mark 21 years since the last fatality-free day on Texas roadways.
Not only that, officials are also concerned about the increasing number of fatalities, which is higher than it’s been in decades.
As of Nov. 4, there have been an estimated 3,556 traffic fatalities in the state, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s after 3,892 in 2020, the highest number since 1984.
“We’re looking at possibly, projecting, going out to 4,200 fatalities by the end of this year,” said Michael Chacon, director of TxDOT’s Traffic Safety Division. “We just cannot let that happen … it’s a shared responsibility. We’re doing everything we can from our department. We know our law enforcement helping us. We know our media partners have been helping get the word out. But it’s a shared responsibility with the drivers as well.”
Chacon said most fatality crashes are preventable, with many caused by speeding, drunk driving or people not wearing seat belts.
TxDOT says its Vision Zero strategy has three pillars: engineering, education and enforcement. Education is the focus for the next few days, you’ll see more of TxDOT’s ‘End The Streak’ campaign on social media and on television.
“You’ll notice that the name of the campaign, the hashtag, is End The Streak, Texas,” said Veronica Beyer, media relations director for TxDOT. “We did this specifically because we wanted all Texans to feel ownership in this serious issue. We want you to act like the driver you want next to you.”
Before Nov. 7, 2000, the previous day without a traffic fatality in Texas was Feb. 28, 1995.
Last month, the Federal Highway Administration announced that both Texas and the San Antonio region will receive technical assistance resources to address common causes of fatal crashes.
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