AUSTIN, Texas - High speed chases seem to be increasing with many caught on camera. They can result in side-swipes and hard impacts.
On Thursday, state officials gathered in Austin to say ‘enough.’
"Last year alone, more than 4,400 people died on Texas roadways. And what is especially alarming is now the number one most contributing factor to these fatalities is when it comes to crashes in Texas, is speeding drivers that were responsible for one third of those crashes and fatalities," said TxDOT Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson.
A media blitz launched by TxDOT was designed to address the safety crisis. The message is simple and to the point, if you are caught speeding, you will be ticketed.
As part of the campaign, a state-wide law enforcement crackdown will take place. It’s scheduled to hit hard between June 7-21.
"We can't stress it enough. Every driver has a responsibility to drive at a safe speed, which doesn't mean just obeying the posted speed limit, but driving to conditions of the roadway. Motorists should slow down if there's bad weather, if traffic is heavy, or if they're driving through a work zone or a school zone," said Michael Chacon with TxDOT’s Safety Division.
The campaign isn't just for those behind the wheel. It can also save the lives of those who work on the highways. In 2021, state officials reported excessive speed was linked to several construction zone crashes. In three cases, workers were killed.
The risk is even to those in the HERO program. Workers like Adrian Cuellar who responds to roadside emergencies.
"We've had plenty of close calls. We get them almost constantly, daily, even, with a simple field call. We'll get them. So it's just keeping your head on a swivel, paying attention. And like I said, just really educating the motorists to move over, slow down," said Cuellar.
TxDOT officials say there has not been a day on Texas roads without a fatality since Nov. 7, 2000.