AUSTIN (Oct. 10, 2014) — As the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners kick off their long-standing football rivalry this weekend, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers to stay sober and safe as they make their way to and from their game-day destinations.
“The Texas/OU rivalry game dramatically increases traffic on our state highways,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “We strongly urge football fans and their drivers to make sure a sober ride is part of their game-day ritual. Driving impaired is absolutely inexcusable and 100 percent avoidable. Don’t wreck your life or the life of another.”
To help spread this message, the TxDOT Fan Van will be traveling throughout Texas until January to remind football fans about the consequences of drinking and driving. Shaped like a giant football, the Fan Van will appear at tailgate events around the state and offer the chance to win a trip to pro football’s Big Game in 2016. Eligible spectators must take a pledge to not drink and drive this football season. Specific contest details and the various ways to enter can be found at TexasGamePlan.com.
Top Texas football coaches – including Art Briles of Baylor University and Tony Levine of the University of Houston – are joining TxDOT’s effort by appearing in upcoming videos encouraging their team’s fans to make a sober-ride game plan.
Alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas were alarmingly high last football season. More than 1,700 DUI-alcohol crashes occurred in 2013 when a Texas college or professional football team was playing, a 7-percent increase over 2012. The dangerous trend on football game days when a Texas team is playing shows a continuous upward swing from 2011 to 2013.
Along with driving sober, TxDOT urges drivers to stay rested, put away phones, obey all traffic laws and buckle up. The agency offers 12 Travel Information Centers across the state where drivers can rest, refresh, get directions and enjoy other safe-travel services.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at txdot.gov.
Road conditions and traffic updates are available on the drivetexas.org website, on Facebook at facebook.com/txdot and Twitter at twitter.com/txdot or twitter.com/txdotdallaspio.
Motorists also can call TxDOT's toll-free highway condition line at 1-800-452-9292 for roadway information. For non-emergency roadside assistance, motorists can call the Texas Department of Public Safety at 1-800-525-5555. TxDOT’s four goals: Maintain a safe system, address congestion, connect Texas communities and be a Best-in-Class state agency.