Spring Breakers are warned about driving while impaired

March 8th, 2019

Spring Break is a dangerous time on Texas roads, with hundreds of impaired driving crashes involving young drivers occurring each year. As college students and young adults head to Spring Break destinations in the coming weeks, the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Plan While You Can” campaign reminds them to make a plan for a sober ride before the party starts.

Drinking alcohol and driving can severely impact a young person’s future. Many promising lives are cut short due to the poor decision to drink alcohol and drive,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We urge young drivers to make responsible choices during the Spring Break holiday. Before heading out, please plan ahead for a sober ride to ensure you get to and from your destination safely.”

During last year’s Spring Break* in Texas, there were 444 crashes involving young drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol. Those crashes killed 11 people and seriously injured another 37.

The “Plan While You Can” campaign includes a statewide tour featuring the new “Plan to Win” virtual reality game where participants are a part of an immersive trivia game which poses questions related to drinking alcohol and driving, and also demonstrates the consequences of drunk driving. Players avoid “jail” by answering questions correctly, and winners progress to a waiting taxi to receive a safe and sober ride. The experience will visit 10 Texas cities during March.

While drivers under the influence of alcohol risk killing or seriously injuring themselves or others, they also face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. Visit SoberRides.org to find alternatives to drinking alcohol and driving, such as:

  • Designating a sober driver or calling someone for a sober ride home
  • Contacting a cab or ride-share service
  • Using mass transit
  • Spending the night

“Plan While You Can” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTXa larger grassroots effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while on the road. Since Nov. 7, 2000, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day and that’s why #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to helping end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways.

TxDOT, Union Pacific start Highway 146 talks

November 1st, 2015

Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal, right, visits with Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner and Seabrook City Manager Gayle Cook as he arrives at Cullen’s to update the Clear Lake Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division on the Highway 146 project.

Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal, right, visits with Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner and Seabrook City Manager Gayle Cook as he arrives at Cullen’s to update the Clear Lake Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division on the Highway 146 project.

By Mary Alys Cherry

Union Pacific Railroad has finally agreed to sell its land along Highway 146 to the Texas Department of Transportation so the roadway can be expanded to handle the Bay Area’s growing transportation needs.

Now TxDOT is negotiating with the railroad on a price, Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal said as he updated the Clear Lake Area Chamber Government Affairs Division on the project’s status at its quarterly luncheon at Cullen’s. How long that will take is anyone’s guess.

“The good news is they are talking,” he said, going on to tell how about three months after he took office as mayor almost four and one-half years ago he decided the $200 million project and the affect it would have on the Seabrook community should be his focus.

“Sixty percent of the design work is done – all but the bridge. It’s the Houston Region TxDOT’s  No. 1 project.”

Kathi Bell, left, owner of the Apartment Leasing Center, and realtor Koy Jamail Buyajian of Keller Williams Realty, were in the crowd at the Clear Lake Area Chamber Government Affairs Division luncheon at Cullen’s.

Kathi Bell, left, owner of the Apartment Leasing Center, and realtor Koy Jamail Buyajian of Keller Williams Realty, were in the crowd at the Clear Lake Area Chamber Government Affairs Division luncheon at Cullen’s.

Realizing that both homes and businesses would be greatly affected as the highway is widened from Red Bluff Road to Kemah, the mayor began trying to find out all he could about the project from then City Manager Chuck Pinto not long after taking office. Next stop was a visit with Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman, from whom he got leadership in gathering a group of local and state officials to plead SH 146’s case. Along with that came a $30 million commitment for right-of-way funding costs.

Then came dozens of meetings with area legislators and congressional representatives. Since then, Highway 146 has become so much a part of his life that once his term as mayor ends, he’ll probably suffer withdrawal symptoms.

“Transportation has taken over my life,” he chuckled as he explained how he and city staff had to encourage businesses along the roadway to stay while trying to make TxDOT understand the need for off-ramps so drivers on the proposed expanded highway could get into Seabrook without going 5 to 10 miles down the highway before being able to turn around.

After many talks with the transportation agency, he was successful and Seabrook finally was able to get the frontage road and exits it needed to keep the community happy with the design plans.