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TxDOT Could Spend $600 Million to Improve Highway Safety

Texas leads the nation in automobile-related deaths, and the state is considering spend a large amount of money to lower the number of fatalities on the state's highways.
July 31, 2019, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Trong Nguyen

Dug Begley reports on a potential massive infusion of cash devoted to improving traffic safety on Texas highways.

"Roughly two-thirds of a $600 million down payment aimed at decreasing deaths along Texas highways will go to straightening roads, improving lighting and adding guardrails," according to Begley as part of a traffic safety plan under consideration by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials.

"The Texas Department of Transportation proposes spending $390 million, 65 percent of the total safety money set aside by the Texas Transportation Commission, to reduce incidents in which drivers veer from the roadway," adds Begley for more specifics about the biggest chunk of funding included in the plan. Those kinds of improvements are intended to improve "departure incidents," which accounted for 41 percent of the serious injury and fatal crashes that occurred statewide in 2018.

"Another $60 million will go toward pedestrian improvements, which claimed 10 percent of the money despite being more than 21 percent of the roadway fatalities statewide," according to Begley.

The unprecedented total would spend $300 million each of the two years, if the safety is funding is approved as part of the TxDOT’s $76.2 billion ten-year Unified Transportation Program. That larger plan is expected for approval in August.

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Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Houston Chronicle
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