AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students head back to school next week and TxDOT has an important message for all drivers — don’t drive distracted.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the crashes that we’re seeing on the texas roadways are due to distracted driving. We want to make sure people are being responsible whether they’re behind the wheel or even if they’re just a pedestrian,” TxDOT spokesperson Alex Navarro said.
TxDOT is telling drivers to slow down and stay off your phone. According to TxDOT, there were 45 accidents in Austin-area school zones last year.
The causes are what you’d expect — speeding, not paying attention and not yielding the right of way. However, TxDOT’s focus isn’t just on drivers.
TxDOT is also telling parents to teach their kids to make eye contact with the driver and don’t assume that because you’re crossing in a crosswalk, the driver is going to stop.
“You know where they are. They know where you are. So you can be so safe that may if there is an instance where someone isn’t paying attention you are doing your diligence and making sure that when you are crossing through an intersection in a safe manner,” Navarro said.
The booming growth in Central Texas is another concern. There are new schools, which mean new school zones in places where you used to be able to zip through.
Not to mention all the road construction popping up every day.
“This area is growing. We’re all painfully aware of that. And so that means even if you’re driving through, or biking through or walking through an are that is familiar to you, it may be different from last year, from last week, from last month and they why we want to remind people to be alert,” Navarro said.