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'Safer 71' aims to help make Highway 71 less dangerous

Some of the neighbors tell KVUE they're nervous about even going out to do simple errands because of the roads.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — People living a western Travis County neighborhood say they're afraid to leave their community because of the deadly stretch of road they have to drive on every day.

But now, some of those people have formed a group, "Safer 71," to try to help make a change to a road they say is very dangerous.

Courtesy of Safer 71

The red line you see on the map above shows the 10-mile stretch where several fatal crashes have happened this year. The most recent one happened last month. A man from the Sweetwater community died.

Some of the neighbors tell KVUE they're nervous about even going out to do simple errands because of the roads.

"Sometimes, I even think when my daughter is taking the bus to school, you know, is there going to be an accident? Because these cars are going so fast," Jason Mazur, a resident in the Sweetwater community, said.

Mazur said the reckless driving is consistent and that some work needs to be done.

"We've got these turns and, God forbid, you text. You're distracted for a second, kids are screaming, you've got nothing separating the two cars," Mazur said.

That's where Safer 71 comes in. The new non-profit was formed by the organization's president, Greg Short, another neighbor in the Sweetwater community.

Short said Safer 71's main goals are to advocate to TxDOT for lowering speed limits, putting up barriers to separate cars and adding more law enforcement.

"We think that type of program that really looks at using enforcement in a way that's gonna catch drivers that are really leading to potential situations earlier is an important part of how we get long term safety out here," Short said.

As for Mazur, he hopes something gets done about the highway soon.

“I’m really hoping the community or the surrounding communities can come together and come up with some type of resolution," Mazur said.

On Wednesday, Safer 71 will be speaking with a planning organization to give their proposals.

Their Facebook page just opened up a few days ago and already has 300 likes.

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