Dallas Police are stepping up enforcement of reckless and drunk-driving, but as the “Home for the Holidays” program takes hold the city is trying to reverse a much longer term trend of dangerous driving on Dallas roadways.
According to DPD, 228 died on city roads in 2020. So far in 2021, that figure sits at 155 with more than one-third (53) of total deaths coming from pedestrians.
Dr. Courtney Edwards is the Director of Trauma Community Outreach at Parkland Hospital.
“Even with all that reduction in traffic (in 2020) we still did not have a day where no one was killed on Texas roadways,” Edwards said. “We realize that what we can provide inside the hospital walls is really very miniscule compared to how we can really try to impact injury and violence within our communities.”
Edwards says it’s why Parkland is one community partner supporting the goal set by the city of Dallas of eliminating traffic deaths and reducing injuries by half by 2030 as part of the Vision Zero program.
Some of it is engineering, improving traffic signals, lane construction and crosswalks on city streets.
More immediate for DPD is tripling of officers in the traffic division dedicated to combating reckless driving and prioritizing DWI arrests from November through January.
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Mike Mata with the Dallas Police Association said he would like to see the program expanded in the future provided DPD has enough officers. For this year, he is once again urging those who plan to drink to simply designate a driver or use one of many rideshare offerings.
“It’s about not destroying lives, including your own life,” Mata added.