TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Travis County Sheriff’s Office traffic initiative revealed some people driving faster than 90 mph on FM 812, where the speed limit is either 55 or 60 mph within TCSO’s patrol jurisdiction.
Deputies also took a closer look at FM 1826. The sheriff’s office launched the initiative after concerns from neighbors about explosive growth, construction traffic, speeding and aggressive driving.
“Realized a lot of people were getting impatient,” said Senior Deputy Allie Sabrsula, who conducted about 100 traffic stops during the study. “We saw reckless driving, passing stopped school buses, driving on the shoulders and speeding in general was a huge issue.”
The traffic initiatives lasted from Nov. 1-19. Speed trailers were placed along the road warning drivers of their speed vs. the posted speed limit. Deputies with TCSO’s Highway Enforcement and Accident Team, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit, Motors unit and DWI unit also beefed up patrols on FM 812 and FM 1826. Below are the results.
- 716 traffic stops
- 23 commercial vehicle inspections
- 28 commercial vehicles taken out of service
- 7 DWI arrests, 1 felony warrant
- 258 traffic stops
- 37 commercial vehicle inspections
- 14 commercial vehicles taken out of service
“It gets a little frustrating,” said Sabrsula. “For the most part, a lot of these collisions we’re seeing are avoidable, if people would just slow down and pay attention to the posted speed limits that we have.”
Dean Ong and Daniel Mann work on FM 812 at Goosehead Insurance. They said getting in and out of the parking lot is the most stressful part of their drive.
“When you’re turning in, there’s always someone on your tail, so when I’m turning in I try to turn my signal on way early,” said Ong.
Mann described driving on FM 812 as a game, trying to avoid other cars.
“There really are people just speeding,” he said. “And then if you have somebody trying to turn to the left, that’s just such a dangerous move to have to make.”
Data shows there have been more than 900 collisions on FM 812 since 2017. Twelve of those have been deadly, including two deaths in two separate crashes this past September.
Sheriff’s deputies will continue to patrol the area closely to curb speeding.
“The number one crime deterrent is the visibility of seeing a patrol car,” said Sabrsula.
When it comes to making changes to the roads themselves, that’s where the Texas Department of Transportation comes in. A spokesperson told KXAN multiple safety projects will begin next year on FM 812 and FM 1826.
- FM 812: Change stretch from FM 967 to Elroy Road from two lanes to three lanes, adding a center turn lane from FM 967 to Elroy Road (early 2022)
- FM 812: Convert flashing beacon to full traffic signal at SH 130 intersection (2022)
- FM 812: Widen FM 812 to four-lane road and divide it (long term, project still under development and seeking funding)
- FM 1826: Six intersections (Towering Cedar, Woodland, Gorman Springs, Appaloosa Run, Zyle Road, Lewis Mountain) being considered for widening and adding center turn lanes (no timeline yet)
- FM 1826: Speed reduction to 50 mph between SH 45 and RM 150 (signs should be in place early 2022)