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Big drop for Rusk Co. traffic fatalities

Big drop for Rusk Co. traffic fatalities
Longview News-Journal

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:14pm

Rusk County officials are knocking on wood and crossing their fingers that the county’s lack of fatalities on roadways since the new year will continue.

Sgt. David Roberts, spokesman for the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, said Thursday that no fatal wrecks have occurred in the county since Jan. 1.

30 people were killed on Rusk County roadways in 2013, prompting county officials to take action.

Roberts said he can’t pinpoint one reason for the change, but said educating young people about the dangers of texting and driving has resulted in a change in attitude of students.

“We held a traffic fatality summit Wednesday where a video was shown depicting the results of alcohol-related crashes and those in which people were killed because they weren’t paying attention,” he said. “The video was produced solely by high school students from an Atlanta, Georgia, school district.”

“I tell the kids that I don’t care how good they think they are texting and driving, you can’t do it,” Roberts said. “It’s bad enough when (the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office gets) a call and are driving 70, 80, 90 miles per hour. We have to worry about everyone on the roads, and who is to say one of these drivers won’t pull out in front of us because they weren’t paying attention?”

Rusk County Judge Joel Hale called the county’s first summit in July to discuss the high number of traffic deaths.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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