More than a dozen staff members representing various state legislators and committees visited the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) on February 21 to hear updates on some of the Institute’s high-priority efforts. The program lineup included several initiatives being pursued by the Center for Transportation Safety (CTS).
CTS Director John Mounce briefly reviewed the Center’s 10-year history before highlighting several key program areas, including:
- Distracted driving – Cell phone use and texting behind the wheel represent a growing roadway safety problem, one that is expected to be the subject of numerous new bills in the next session of the Texas Legislature in 2013.
- Impaired driving – DWI deaths in Texas account for 42 percent of all crash fatalities in the state each year, compared with a national average of 31 percent.
- Latino traffic safety – Latinos, who represent the fastest-growing segment of the population in Texas, are overrepresented in roadway crashes.
- Military traffic safety – in the years since the 9-11 attacks, more soldiers have died in vehicle crashes than in combat.
- Law enforcement – CTS researchers will continue their efforts to support training for peace officers that is designed to improve data collection and reporting.
The guests from the state capitol also heard updates on other major TTI initiatives and toured the agency’s Visibility Research Laboratory.