2012 is finally winding down, and sadly, it has been the deadliest year for Austin car wrecks in over a decade. As of December 27, Austin had 77 traffic fatalities, the most since 2000. Fortunately, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is looking to do something about it.
In a December 29 Austin American Statesman story, Acevedo outlined a number of steps the Austin Police Department planned to take to reduce traffic fatalities. For example, Acevedo intends to increase the number of “no refusal” weekends (alcohol has been a factor in at least one-third of this year’s fatalities), increase patrols, give out more tickets rather than warnings, and crack down on pedestrian law-breakers. He also stated that he wants to get together with other law enforcement officials in the area.
I’m hopeful that these initiatives will work. We see first hand the devastation caused by traffic fatalities to family and friends of those who are killed. It’s appropriate that we do more in the new year to help reduce those losses.