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The Solution: Recommendations & Legislative Agenda
A. Summary of Recommendations from Vision Zero South Texas (Scroll down to item D for detailed explanation of recommendations)
- TxLege to Create Texas Traffic Safety Commission
- TxDOT to Create New TxDOT Safety Division
- TxDOT to Remove the Traffic Safety Office and Personnel from the TxDOT Operations Division and Move to a New Safety Division
- TxLege and TxDOT to Promote Vision Zero Principles
- TxLege and TxDOT to Set Road Death Reduction Goals
- TxLege and TxDOT to Repeal Speed Limit Laws (especially on undivided roadways)
- TxLege and TxDOT to Abolish the 85th Percentile Rule for Setting Speed Limits
- TxDOT and AASHTO to Abolish “Traffic Volume” in Determining Clear Zone Distances
- TxDOT to Declutter Clear Zones and Adhere to AASHTO Clear Zone Distances
- TxDOT and AASHTO to Update Clear Zone Distances (Exponential to Vehicle Speed)
- TxLege to Reduce DUI Blood Alcohol Content Limits from 0.08 to 0.05% BAC
- TxLege and TxDOT to use Automated Speed Enforcement Devices (Cameras)
- TxLege to Pass a Law: Police Stop Safe Stop, to allow vehicle drivers to continue to the next safe area to park during a police stop, instead of stopping “immediately,” to remove the risk of rear-end or sideswipe crashes into humans or vehicles on the shoulder of high-speed roadways during a police stop.
B. Summary of Recommendations from Vision Zero Texas (Source: VisionZeroTexas.org)
- Safe Neighborhood Streets (HB442 Rep. Israel; SB221 Sen. Zaffirini). Every Texas kid deserves the freedom of a safe neighborhood. This bill will make the default residential speed limit 25 mph on two-lane residential streets without a posted speed.
- Stop for Pedestrians (HB443 Rep. Israel). Texas is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for pedestrians. This bill adds “stop for” in three places in the Texas transportation code, a small change that will save lives and provide closure for victims’ families.
- Consistent, Statewide Hands-Free (SB42 Rep. Zaffirini). The Hands-Free Bill will provide a consistent, statewide standard that it is not acceptable to drive a vehicle in Texas with your phone in your hands. Consistent standards improve safety.
- Safe Routes to School. In Texas, Safe Routes to School is a 100 percent federally funded cost-reimbursement program managed through TXDOT. We need to establish state funding and encourage local governments to prioritize safety for all schools.
- Crash Not Accident (HB3325 Rep. Lozano; SB1945 Sen. Lucio). This bill would change every instance of the term “accident” when referring to a traffic crash in the Texas transportation code to “crash” to establish a culture of responsibility.
- End Drunk Driving in Texas. Although drunk driving deaths are decreasing, they still account for one in four traffic fatalities in Texas. We need a revitalized, comprehensive approach to end drunk driving in Texas.
- Dedicated Transportation Safety Funding. In 2019, the Texas Transportation Commission allocated $300 million a year to end traffic deaths. The legislature should permanently authorize this “Road to Zero” funding and continue to support safety plans in every metro, urban, and rural TXDOT District.
C. Summary of Texas-specific Recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) [Source: ntsb.gov]
- Reduce DUI Blood Alcohol Content limits from 0.08 to 0.05% BAC
- Use Automated Traffic Devices for Vehicle Speed Enforcement (Speed Cameras and Red Light Cameras)
- H-18-060 To the State of Texas; Conduct an executive-level review of your impaired driving program and implement data-driven strategies that result in a downward trend in the number of fatalities, injuries, and crashes involving alcohol – and other drug – impaired drivers. (11/19/2018).
D. Detailed Explanation of Recommendations from Vision Zero South Texas (from item A, listed above)
A.1. TxLege to Create Texas Traffic Safety Commission. Recommend the Texas Legislature create a statewide commission, with annual funding, that has the sole purpose and resources to reduce Texas traffic fatalities and serious injuries year-over-year. With creation of this commission and its distinct job description, responsibility, and performance measures, the Texas Legislature and other State organizations will begin to be held accountable for public safety on Texas roadways. An example of this type of commission is the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (for information, click on link), which is chaired by Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee and is made up of ten Commissioners representing the four E’s of traffic safety (Education, Enforcement, Engineering, and Emergency Medical Services).
A.2. TxDOT to Create New TxDOT Safety Division
A.3. TxDOT to Remove the Traffic Safety Office and Personnel from the TxDOT Operations Division and Move to New Safety Division
Recommend TxDOT create and staff a new Safety Division. The Chief Safety Officer will have an equal seat-at-the-table as the other TxDOT division chiefs. The TxDOT Chief Safety Officer will be held responsible, and have a job description, stated mission, and performance measures to effectively reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries year-over-year. TxDOT will provide annual funding to the Safety Division to ensure success in its mission to effectively reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries year-over-year.
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