Car Crash Epidemic in DFW Has To Be Stopped

Ticket for Texting and DrivingI call on Dallas, Fort Worth, and the other cities in North Texas to establish a car crash task force to reduce our high death and injury rate on our roads. I understand that no one wants to be stopped and given a traffic ticket. And sometimes the cop is overly aggressive and the driver hasn’t been speeding or isn’t over the blood alcohol limit. But we have a shocking 80,000 car wrecks in Dallas and Tarrant Counties every year — 220 a day — that injure and take the lives of innocent drivers.

An illuminating article last week in the Houston Chronicle followed up on its previous investigation into that city’s worst auto crash rate in the country ranking. And the newspaper found that there enforcement of traffic laws had been reduced although officials knew that fatalities and personal injuries were rising. Now, in only two days in Houston, the officers on a new task force made over 400 traffic stops, wrote almost 300 tickets, and arrested 38 people — including 23 for DWI.

You never think you will be injured in a car accident. But after work yesterday, I drove a settlement check to a client who had major surgery after a young driver ran a light. I was saddened that the poor woman is still hobbling around behind a walker six weeks later. I took her to her bank since she has no car and is not able to work.

And I met a client this morning to advance her money to help pay for the surgery she is having later today after a drunk driver crashed into her car.

It is obvious that we are not doing enough to protect the public from bad drivers.

My guess is that DFW area police would have the same results here as in Houston since we know we have a major problem.  Tarrant County has 10 “No refusal weekends” throughout the year where blood draws to curtail DWIs are mandatory. This past Super Bowl weekend was one of them and the Stock Show weekends going on down University Drive from my building are also on the list.

Traffic enforcement in Dallas and Fort Worth lagging

The chance of getting a citation from the Department of Public Safety is far greater in Parker or Collin Counties than Tarrant or Dallas Counties, according to this study by the Star-Telegram. Parker County west of Fort Worth was #9 in Texas (26,506 tickets). Collin County north of Dallas was right behind at #10 (26,432). By comparison, Dallas is #13 with only 13,714 citations and Tarrant is #48 with 9,674.

A DPS spokesman explained: “People die and are seriously injured every day in senseless, preventable vehicle crashes — all because someone chose to drive irresponsibly, including speeding. We are unapologetic about our Troopers’ efforts to enforce all laws in every area of the state and we’re proud of the critical role they play in keeping our roadways safe.”

The review of data shows that the number of speeding tickets issued by state troopers went down substantially from 2012 to 2015. Then in 2016, the number of tickets issued rose but this apparently because of increased border enforcement.

On a related topic, the Texas Supreme Court recently heard arguments in an appeal out of Dallas that might ban the use of red light cameras. Some people have complained about allowing machines — not humans — to record fault. A list of where these cameras are in Fort Worth is here: Don’t you just hate red light cameras?

A few other local cities have cracked down on drunk driving, but on a more limited basis. For example, Frisco had a DWI task force during the Christmas holidays.
But when I drove to Dallas last week for a meeting — ironically at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a group that I support enthusiastically and serve on the board of directors for the North Texas region, I never saw one patrol car or indication that there was one on Waze — which you can use so you don’t get a ticket.

We can help

Berenson Injury Law has been helping the victims of car and truck collisions for almost 40 years and can assist you recover your damages if you have unfortunately been injured in one. Please call us at 1-888-801-8585 or click here.

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