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Texas Commission Calls for Response to Surge of Trucking Accidents

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission Ted Houghton is calling on Texas officials to address the growing number of traffic fatalities involving trucks and other commercial vehicles.

Company Vehicle Accidents Sore after 2008 Gas and Oil Boom

The Houston Chronicle reports that between 2009 and 2013, the number of traffic related deaths recorded in Texas climbed 8 percent, increasing from 3,122 to 3,378. This disturbing trend contradicts what has been a decline in traffic fatalities in other states.

Even more alarming was the Chronicle’s discovery that the number of deaths linked to commercial vehicle accidents have rose by an astounding 51 percent over the same time period, from 352 deaths in 2009 to 532 deaths in 2013.

The Chronicle cites increased speed limits as another critical factor contributing to the increase in traffic fatalities. Speed limits on more than 18,700 miles of Texas highway have been increased from 70 to 75 miles per hour over the past two years – permitted night and truck speed limits have jumped even more.

Houghton’s Call to Action

“There are issues with the transportation sector and with the equipment, but we do not need to be the excuse. …We cannot run from this issue any longer.” – Ted Houghton, chairmen of the Texas Transportation Commission as published by the Houston Chronicle

Following a string of high-profile collisions in which oil field companies were found to have repeatedly violated state and federal regulations or failed audits, the Texas Transportation Commission is applying pressure to state officials find solutions.

Houghton has asked planners with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to create high priority projects to repair roads frequented by oil and gas industry traffic and to report back with a list on October 30.

Among the items at the DOT’s disposal are rumble strips, public education campaigns, and the ability to lower speed limits. Houghton added the TxDOT should look for ways to move money from stalled projects to speed up the process.


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