Lawmakers Consider Using A Rainy-Day-Fund to Aid West TX Roads 3/26/13
CBS 7 News
March 27, 2013
Midland, TX - A series of deadly crashes continue to plague the area.
Most recently there have been nine deaths on the roads in less than a week.
The number of crashes in West Texas in 2012 made up 6.25 percent of total crashes in Texas and the number of fatalities made up 9.5 percent of the state's deadly crashes.
Overall The TxDOT Odessa District Office reports the number of fatalities went up by 58 percent between 2010 and 2012.
B and B Wreckers in Midland say their lot is so full of wrecked vehicles they created space for overflow. Employees say the majority of their crashed vehicles are oilfield trucks.
Many West Texas drivers say they've had enough of the fatalities on their roads.
“The traffic is not like it used to be, there's so many more cars here and the streets are not set up for it,” said Odessan Betty Beatles.
“It’s scary,” said Midlander Tara Watts, “There’s so much more traffic and people aren't paying attention.”
“There just has to be better roads to make room for people coming in,” said Odessan Mike Watts.
“We have to address this,” said State Representative Tryon Lewis who responded to CBS 7 saying help is on the way and he recognizes the growing number of deadly crashes.
“The roads are not meant for this kind if oilfield traffic,” he said, “That’s what we have now.”
CBS 7 also contacted Representative Tom Craddick’s office, they responded with a statement saying:
“Due to population growth and traffic increases additional infrastructure funding is the most urgent concern.”
The solution? Lewis says funding the west Texas roads could come from a rainy day fund.
“Oil and gas severance tax money, which has been kept in a fund," he explained, "We would like to use some of that for energy-impacted roads.”
According to TxDOT the majority of these crashes are due to driver error. Lawmakers say drivers still need to pay attention when behind the wheel.