Train Talk: Episode 10 – Mothers Against Drunk Driving

MADD: High-speed train “will reduce crashes and traffic congestion along I-45”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) endorsed the Texas high-speed train this month, highlighting the system’s flawless safety record and the potential to save lives by providing a travel alternative for drunk, distracted and drowsy drivers.

“Texas Central holds the promise of reducing drunk driving tragedies and overall traffic deaths and injuries by removing 14,500 cars daily from I-45 between Dallas and Houston. MADD supports this exciting project.” – Excerpt from MADD’s letter of support

In 2017 alone, 10,874 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers and 795 people were killed in drowsy driving incidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, in 2016, the latest year in which stats are available, 90,378 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

On a state level, the results are no better. At least one person has died on Texas roads every single day since November 7, 2000. In response to this troubling stat, the Texas Department of Transportation launched its #EndTheStreakTX campaign, which aims to help raise awareness of this tragic daily statistic by asking people to share personal stories of loved ones lost in car crashes on their social media pages using photo and video testimonials with the hashtag, #EndTheStreakTX.

Anyone who’s traveled to and from Dallas, Houston or College Station on I-45 can tell you how much they dread that drive – especially at night. This stretch of highway consistently ranks as one of the deadliest in the U.S. and has scored in the top in both DUI-related crashes and fatal nighttime incidents.

During the 2017 legislative session in Texas, University of Houston student Nicholas Torres – a victim of a drunk driving accident on I-45 in 2015 – submitted powerful written testimony to the state legislature.

“I was involved in a three-car collision on my way back to school from my family home in Dallas. The wreck I had that day still haunts me to this day, mostly in part because it was not my fault. This could have been anyone. The car behind me did not notice traffic come to a startlingly abrupt halt. The next few seconds as I watched from my rearview mirror the car behind me launch into my backside at nearly forty miles per hour, made my heart feel like it was beating out of my chest. Due to that accident I do not, and most likely will never, see I-45’s dangerous route the same way ever again.”

One of the biggest deterrents to traveling by car between North Texas, the Brazos Valley and Houston is the expectation that you will have to fight traffic congestion, construction delays, and concerns about safety – including the choices made by other drivers on the road.

This system would offer residents and large numbers of out of town visitors a safer, faster travel alternative by significantly decreasing accidents due to drunk, drowsy or distracted driving. On the Texas high-speed train, you can avoid I-45 entirely and have peace of mind knowing that your friends and family will be safe traveling on a system that has a spotless 50+ year safety record. And that’s a win for everyone.

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