Fatal Crashes Plague Houston’s Roads and Highways, as Metro Region Leads in Traffic-Related Deaths
The traffic in Houston, Texas is enough to kill you – literally.
In fact, according to an analysis conducted by the Houston Chronicle, no other major metropolitan area in the United States records more traffic-related deaths than the 9-county Houston metro area.
Houston also racked up the 2nd-highest number of traffic deaths, per capita, on federal highways in the 12 largest regions of the country.
And it took 2nd place for fatal speeding-related accidents.
Finally, the Houston area trails only Dallas in crashes caused by someone slamming into stopped congestion on the freeway.
Changes in Laws, Enforcement, & Engineering Could Turn the Tide
While drivers do contribute to the majority of Houston’s deadly crashes, the Chronicle found a growing awareness among Texas lawmakers, police, and local officials that changes in laws, enforcement, and engineering might save lives.
Unfortunately, such efforts have come up short so far.
“I am sure if you ask (Houston) Mayor Turner he would love to double the police force … but it is a question of resources,” said State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.
Garcia recently pushed to lower the state’s prima facie speed limit for cities from 30 mph to 25 mph.
Her efforts failed, even though a recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that similar action had effectively reduced speeding in Boston, Massachusetts.
Texas Lawmakers Beginning to Acknowledge Need for Change
Despite the set-back, Garcia told the Houston Chronicle that Texas lawmakers are beginning to acknowledge that something must be done to curb the rate of traffic-related deaths, not just in Houston, but in the state as a whole.
“Bottom line, I think there will be more consensus because Texas has one of the highest fatality rates in the country,” Garcia said.
“In Texas, when it comes to freedom or changing anything, you have to pry that gun out of one hand and the truck keys out of the other,” she continued.
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