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Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

It has been 20 years since Texas could claim a day where there were no fatalities on our roads. Saturday, Nov. 7, Texas marks 20 years of daily deaths on our roadways with more than 70,000 people killed since 2000. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), every day in Texas nearly 10 people are killed in traffic crashes with the leading causes of these deadly crashes continuing to be failure to stay in one lane, alcohol, speed and distracted driving. TxDOT is promoting the “End the Streak” campaign to help end motor vehicle fatalities in Texas. The road to ending the streak is not impossible. In Texas there were 23 counites with zero fatalities in 2019.

The pandemic has taught us all about the importance of shared responsibility. Ending this streak of needless tragedy on Texas roadways is also a shared responsibility. While it is considered socially unacceptable to drink and drive and most people would think twice about drinking and driving or riding with a drunk driver, riding with a driver who is speeding, not buckled up, using their phone while driving or driving in any reckless manner has not reached the threshold of being socially unacceptable yet. Drivers and passengers can change that by taking responsibility for each other’s safe driving.

What if everyone took the responsibility to make sure they were not driving drowsy, driving impaired, not distracted, obeyed speed limits, buckled up and passengers made sure their driver was rested and alert?

What if everyone took on these responsibilities and Texas could once again enjoy a day where there was not one fatality on our roads? Then, we could put an end to this terrible streak of roadway deaths in Texas — and it would bear repeating!

Remember, these questions do not have to be just rhetorical questions. For information on the End the Streak campaign visit: http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/psas/end-streak.html or contact me, Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Stay well and stay safe.

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