Weatherford Democrat

Top News

March 13, 2013

TxDOT asks drivers use caution around gas, oil field service trucks

New oil boom has brought new jobs to the region, but that means more people, traffic and accidents

By Tammye Nash | Lone Star News Group

CLEBURNE – More than one-fifth of the world’s drilling rigs are located in Texas, according to a recent article published in the San Antonio Express-News. Thirty-four of those rigs are located in the 16 counties — including Johnson and Parker counties — that make up the Barnett Shale in North Central Texas.

Although the new oil boom is not without its controversies, it has brought new jobs and new people to the region. And that means more traffic and therefore more accidents and more fatalities.

The oil boom is “great for the state overall,” said Carol Rawson, traffic operations division director for the Texas Department of Transportation, “but it means some real challenges for us, too, especially when it comes to transportation.”

Chief among those challenges is the increase in motor vehicle accidents that accompanies increased traffic. To try and stem that rising tide, TxDOT officials, along with officials from Johnson County and the Department of Public Safety, unveiled TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign, aimed specifically at reminding drivers to be extra careful when driving in an energy work zone, with a press conference Friday at the Johnson County Courthouse.

Rawson said that in 2012 there were 3,384 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in Texas — a 10 percent increase over the previous year. In the 16 counties in the Barnett Shale, Rawson said, there were 14,920 motor vehicle accidents involving fatalities or serious injuries last year.

While the Barnett Shale region hasn’t seen the double-digit increases in accidents that have plagued other areas of the state, Rawson said, “TxDOT is committed to taking steps here to reduce the number of accidents that are happening.”

New life in the oil and gas industry means more heavy trucks on the roads, Rawson said, and that means that passenger vehicle drivers — as well as truck drivers — need to be even more careful to stay safe.

Text Only
Top News
  • Taste of Parker County logo.jpg Canyon West to host Taste of Parker County

    Prepare your taste buds, because the sixth annual Taste of Parker County is just a few short weeks away, and this year’s event has moved to a larger location to accommodate even more great eats and treats.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420 one USAF riders IMG_7940.jpg Riding high

    Members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team, preparing to participate in the 12th annual Ride for Heroes in Aledo Saturday, met Friday with their supporters — members of the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford — for a pre-ride photo shoot at the historic courthouse followed by pre-ride carbo loading at Milano’s in Willow Park.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand jury indictments for April returned

    A Parker County grand jury on Thursday indicted a man accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home and threatening him with a BB gun before engaging in a brief standoff with deputies.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0420 loc wumo.jpg WuMo comic strip coming to the WD

    Beginning May 1, the Weatherford Democrat will introduce a new comic strip – WuMo.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David May named Mineral Wells Index general manager-editor

    Weatherford Democrat Editor David May has been named general manager-editor for the Mineral Wells Index.

    April 18, 2014

  • Aledo City Council Place 2 Candidates.jpg Q&A: Aledo City Council Place 2 candidates

    With some contested races in area school board and city council races on the May 10 ballots, the WD will provide a closer look at some of those through a question-and-answer feature with the candidates. Early voting begins April 28. Today we look at the candidates running for Place 2 on Aledo City Council.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • USAF photo.jpg Heroes riding for heroes

    The 12th annual Ride for Heroes bike ride this Saturday in Aledo will include some VIPs: members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: He is risen!

    “He has risen; The Lord has risen indeed!” (Luke 24:6, 34)

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Little league makes pitch to city for lower user fees

    Weatherford Little League officials have asked the city to lower user fees to the league.

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results