From the Austin-American Stateman:
Recent statistics show fatal car accidents in Austin, Texas have increased from last year by 30%. With an ever-increasing growth in Austin’s population, traffic is becoming heavier than ever. Citings include I-35 for its high-frequency traffic incidents throughout 2018 including a fatal accident on April 21, 2019. Austin Law Enforcement is strongly encouraging drivers and residents to use good judgment and common sense as the summer approaches. The Austin City Council has been looking into options, including No Refusal Weekend and the Vision Zero Action Plan, to address these problems.
Both approaches aim to improve the safety for both drivers and pedestrians on the road as scooters and increasing population become more of a factor. However, Austin residents should remain diligent for new policy changes as the city continues to address these pressing issues.
Read the article for more details here.
What is No Refusal Weekend?
A no-refusal weekend allows law enforcement an easier time to receive evidence of DWI. Despite suspicions that breathalyzer tests are unreliable and inaccurate, No Refusal Weekend prevents drivers from refusing such a test during the period. No-refusal periods can be active Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
You can find more details and alerts for when No Refusal periods are active here.
What is the Vision Zero Action Plan?
The Vision Zero movement is a strategy outlined to reduce fatal car accidents through ‘education, engineering, evaluation, enforcement, and policy’.
Regarding ‘education’, the plan included a branded educational media campaign to educate Austin residents on the pressing issue. ‘Engineering’ sections focused on redesigning the streets of Austin with safety as the top priority. ‘Evaluation’ segments focused on accurate data-gathering to determine where to prioritize resources. The ‘Enforcement’ part would focus on the city’s safety improvement in the key areas where auto accidents were frequent. To address these changes, the ‘policy’ segment of the plan would focus on implementing policy changes to support the plan.
For more details about the Vision Zero Action Plan, visit this link.