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Austin sees rise in traffic deaths in 2019

Numbers from the Austin Police Department’s Vision Zero campaign website show 86 people died in traffic accidents in 2019.

AUSTIN, Texas — Drivers in Austin spent 2019 braving a persistent issue for our city – danger on the roads they use every day.

According to the Austin Police Department, there were 86 traffic deaths last year in the city of Austin.

Compare that total to 73 deaths on Austin roads in 2018, 75 deaths in 2017 and 86 deaths back in 2016.

“We know some of the causative factors,” Chief Brian Manley said during a news conference back in May. “These are preventable if people follow the law and follow common sense and good judgment.”

During that news conference, Manley addressed the rise in traffic deaths.

Currently, the City is in the middle of its Vision Zero campaign, trying to eliminate all traffic fatalities in Austin by 2025.

But this year’s rise in deaths on our roads calls to question whether that initiative is really working.

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The city auditor’s office raised a similar concern back in September, when auditors released a report saying it is unlikely the city will reach the goal of the campaign.

Austin Transportation responded to that audit, saying if Austin wants safer roads, officials need to make serious changes to traffic laws and enforcement.

Meanwhile, Austin police encourage drivers to take a stand against the growing threat of safety on our roads.

“Do not become or do not create one of these statistics, because each and every one of these statistics is a human life,” Manley said in May. “It is a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a son or a daughter. And there is just simply no excuse.”

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