(November 20, 2009) - The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently recieved a National Roadway Safety Award for its Safety Bond Program. State Senator Steve Ogden was among the Texas delegation that accepted the award. The following is Senator Ogden's remarks about the award.
Secretary LaHood said the award was "a good opportunity to shine a light on the nation's most innovative road safety projects and programs that eliminate or sharply reduce highway deaths across the United States." In that spirit, I would like to share the history and impact of Texas' Safety Bond Program.
This program was created in legislation I co-sponsored in 2003. It was approved by the voters of Texas in December 2004, and implemented by TxDOT in 2005. To date, more than $1.2 billion has been allocated for safety improvements such as new overpasses, improved highway shoulders, left turn lanes and steel-cable safety barriers.
Traffic fatality rates and incapacitating injuries have dropped by 10% since 2004. The Texas Transportation Institute's Center for Transportation Safety estimates that safety improvements associated with the bond program could save over 3,000 lives and prevent 40,000 injuries over the next 20 years. This is good news!
Throughout my career in the Texas legislature, I have worked hard to improve highway safety, believing it as important as improved mobility. The investment of taxpayer money in the Safety Bond Program is producing real and invaluable returns in saved lives and averted accidents. As we move forward, it is important to remember that we can and should continue our efforts to make Texas highways safer. This is a vitally important goal and one we can readily achieve.
I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the citizens of Texas and the employees at the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Transportation Institute, and the Texas Department of Public Safety for a job well done.
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