TxDOT announced recently that it will partner with GEICO to create Safe Phone Zones at Texas Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers. The Safe Phone Zones are meant to encourage drivers to pull off the road to use their phone.
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According to TxDOT director of Engineering and Safety Operation Mark Marek, this is a response to the more than 100,000 crashes in Texas each year involving distracted driving. “We hope to curb this deadly habit,” said Marek, “by encouraging drivers to pull over at TxDOT Safety Rest Areas to use apps, check email, and surf the Web in a safe location.”
Texas current maintains 12 Travel Information Centers (TICs), one in Austin and the others scattered around the state’s borders. In addition there are more than 80 Safety Rest Areas – many of them newly refurbished – along Texas highways. The Texas Safety Rest Area program was created to combat the driver fatigue that contributes to many driving crashes every year. According to TxDOT, Texas has the most roadways of any state and also more traffic accidents caused by driver fatigue.
The partnership with GEICO to sponsor the Safe Phone Zones at Texas rest areas is part of TxDOT’s Sponsor Acknowledgement Program. This program seeks company sponsorships to assist in funding the renovation of Texas TICs and safety rest areas.
GEICO is the first company to join the Sponsor Acknowledgement Program.
Safety Rest Areas in Texas
The Safety Rest Areas provide drivers opportunities to take a break from driving the long distances between Texas cities and refresh themselves before getting back on the road.
The renovated rest areas offer restrooms with heat and air-conditioning, separate parking areas for trucks and passenger cars, maps, and information on road conditions and traffic-safety. There are play areas for the kids (so they can stop kicking the back of your seat for a bit). Increased safety is created by surveillance cameras and office space for law-enforcement personnel.
This map of the information centers and safety rest areas will show their locations across Texas, including which are new renovated or reconstructed.