Dallas has the fifth-most traffic fatalities of any major city in the country. This week, the City Council approved the creation of a task force to fix the issue and adopted goals to reduce fatalities in the future.
Earlier this year, Michael Rogers, director of the Dallas Department of Transportation, presented the City Council a set of statistics about traffic incidents in Dallas and what can be done about them.
According to numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 25 most populous cities in the country, Dallas has more traffic fatalities than all but Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix; Detroit; and Memphis.
Five other Texas cities rank in the top 13 for traffic fatalities: Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso, with Dallas at the top of the list.
“We cannot afford to have another person injured or killed,” Rogers told the city at the time of his presentation.
Rogers' research suggests that half of Dallas' traffic fatalities happen on 8% of its roads. The City Council's resolution acknowledges that between 2013 and 2017, there were 558 traffic fatalities and 3,750 serious injuries on Dallas roads.
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Directing the city manager to create the task force and plan are the city's first steps toward addressing the problem.
In order to improve Dallas' traffic fatality statistics, the city needs to educate pedestrians and drivers about safe practices and design roads to be clear and wide, Rogers told the Observer earlier this year. He is also interested in strategies that encourage walking, biking and public transit use. Raised pedestrian crosswalks are also a good tool to make pedestrians visible and get cars to slow down.
The city committed to having a plan in place by 2021 that takes into account several strategies for reducing traffic fatalities and to work toward zero fatalities and a 50% decrease in serious injuries by 2030.