#EndTheStreak: TxDOT launches campaign to end 21-year death streak

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Odessa, Texas (Nexstar)- In just three days, Texas could face a very grim reality- 21 years of daily deaths on our roads. Now, the Texas Department of Transportation is looking to end this streak before Sunday. 

For the past several years, about 10 people have died every day in crashes in the state. During the height of the pandemic when traffic dropped nearly 50%, the death rate climbed to more than 11 a day, shocking state transportation leaders.

Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan, a champion for road safety and TxDOT’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign, said every Texan must do their part. And while the goal of ending the deadly streak is ambitious, Ryan said, it is far from impossible.

“We stick with it. We keep telling the story. We fight back when people say personal responsibility is not a thing. It is. And we don’t give up,” Ryan said. “I am hopeful that it will happen sooner than later, but I am confident that it will happen.”

TxDOT says most crashes and fatalities are preventable and caused by things such as speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving. 

“In our 12 counties of the Odessa district, 30% of fatalities this year have been drinking and driving, 30% of the fatalities this year have been no seatbelts, 30% of the fatalities this year have been things like speeding, we just see all kinds of things that are happening out there that are preventable,” said Odessa District Public Information Officer Gene Powell. 

“Put down the cell phones, don’t speed, and don’t drink and drive. We think with those three things, they seem to be the biggest contributing factors to fatalities in the Permian Basin. Focus on those three items, and we will make the roads safer altogether,” said Scott Scheffler of the Permian Basin Road Safety Coalition. 

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