State Senator Steve Ogden was recently honored jointly by the three state agencies most involved in realizing his vision for enhancing roadway safety in Texas. The recognition came in response to Ogden’s keynote address at the annual Texas Traffic Safety Conference in San Antonio on June 5.
“Mention the name ‘Senator Safety’ to just about anyone in or around the state capitol, and chances are, they’ll know exactly who you’re talking about,” noted Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Director Dennis Christiansen in his recognition of Ogden. “In the history of the Texas Legislature, very few elected officials have been as steadfastly committed to roadway safety as Senator Steve Ogden. And, more important, even fewer have been as effective in their purpose.”
As part of the recognition, Ogden also earned praise from John Barton of the Texas Department of Transportation and Chief Luiz Gonzalez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Ogden served as chairman of the Senate Infrastructure Development and Security Committee when the Legislature was shaping the state’s most significant transportation policy ever in 2003. As part of that legislation, the senator ensured that 20 percent of all roadway bond financing would be spent on safety improvements. More than $1 billion has been invested in those safety improvements since the program began, and a TTI analysis demonstrates that the improvements have produced a benefit/cost ratio of thirteen-to-one. In human terms, that translates to more than 100 fewer crash fatalities each year across Texas, and more than 1,000 fewer serious-injury crashes.
Ogden is also responsible for the creation of TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety, which began operations in 2001.
Along with Barton and Gonzalez, Christiansen presented Ogden with a framed collection of photographs representing some of the safety enhancements he has made possible along Texas highways, with an inscription reading: In deep appreciation of your vision, tenacity and leadership in the pursuit of safer roadways for the citizens of Texas, and of your years of generous public service distinguished by legislative actions that have saved, and will continue to save, the lives of countless Texans.