Saturday, March 16, 2013

TxDot figures show fatalities on Eagle Ford Shale roads up 40 percent

A report by Jennifer Miller from the San Antonio Express-News cites Texas Department of Transportaion numbers to show that fatalities on the Eagle Ford Shale roads have risen from 177 to 248, an increase of 40 per cent.

According to her article, Casey Goetz a major with Texas' DPS reports that the number of crashes involving commercial trucks in Karnes, La Salle and Dimmitt (Carrizo Springs)counties has increased an astounding 1,000 per cent. That is ten times more than the previous reporting period.

Luke Legate, a representative of the Texas Oil and Gas association stated that "more and more, we're concentrating on the issue of safety.  Another industry proponent, John Esparza, ad advisor to Governor Rick Perry and CEO of the truck industry's Texas Motor Vehicle Association claims that in 84 per cent of the fatalities in which both a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck were involved, "it was the passenger vehicles fault". Miller does not corroborate this claim in her article.

I know that the last time I visited the Carrizo Springs area, there was a tremendous explosion of truck traffic. Residents of the area told me that it is becoming common practice for them to avoid US 83 when travelling to Laredo. Instead, many are taking the longer, but apparently safer  route of taking US 83 North, then taking US 57 East to IH-35, then coming south to Laredo.  This is a total of approximately 188 miles, as opposed to the normal 80-90 mile drive from the Carrizon Springs area to the Gateway City.

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