APD working to prevent accidents in 2013



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Posted on December 30, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 31 at 8:34 AM

AUSTIN -- The Austin Police Department is calling on all drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to work together to prevent accidents in 2013.

This past year was the deadliest year on Austin roads recently, with a total 77 traffic fatalities.

"It's been a horrible year. And there's no excuse for it," said APD Chief Art Acevedo.

Last year there were 54 deaths. In 2010 there were 49.

In 2012, 28 pedestrians were hit and killed. Sixteen drivers died after running into objects. Three motorcyclists died the same way.

Eleven of the fatalities involved vehicles hitting motorcycles, ten others were vehicles hitting vehicles. Five drivers ran off the road.

And one man, a father of two, was killed after he was hit by a Capital Metro train.

Austin police have several initiatives to help fight this growing trend. From a pedestrian enforcement safety team to 'No Refusal' weekends, where warrants are issued to suspected drunk drivers for blood samples.

That's done six times a year around major holidays. And the policy is in effect now until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

"A lot of folks decide to go out, they make bad choices, they drink and drive, and so this is your warning," said Chief Acevedo.

Acevedo says the department is going one step further this year, offering an alternative to drinking and driving on New Year's Eve. The department has teamed up with Capital Metro to offer free services on New Year's Eve starting at 6 p.m.

A call for Austinites to work together -- and make 2013 a better year.