TxDOT Offers Blue Street Sign For Drunk Driving Victims - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/18/07-Tyler

TxDOT Offers Blue Street Sign For Drunk Driving Victims

Statistically, Texas leads the nation in alcohol-related fatalities with the East Texas region coming in third in the state. That's why TxDOT has launched a new sign campaign specifically for victims' families, but not everyone is on board.

Last year alone, more than 1500 people died in Texas because of drunk driving and in many of those cases, a white cross was put up at the site as a memorial to remember the loved one killed, but now, there's another option.

"We've been able to convince people that wearing seatbelts is a good idea, now we hope we can convince people that not drinking and driving is a good idea," says Larry Krantz with TxDOT.

The organization is hoping to do that through a new blue, metal street sign that looks a lot like the "Adopt A Street" sign, but it will actually say "Please Don't Drink and Drive."

"We really hope that this brings to light how many fatalities there are each year that are alcohol related," Krantz adds.

The signs are for all to see, but only because they're purchased by the families of drunk driving victims who want to memorialize their loved one.

"Anything that we can do to get the message out helps, I just hate to see it at the expense of the victims literally whether it's financial and/or emotional," says Vicki Knox, the Executive Director for MADD of East Texas.

At 300 dollars a sign for one year's standing, MADD of East Texas says they've not had one family here show interest.

"Even though it's TxDOT's way of trying to do something for the victims, I think in the end, it's rather costly and it can be an emotional and traumatic experience to take down that blue sign," Knox adds.

"We'd certainly love to be able to provide this for free, what we're asking the public to do is meet us in the middle. You'd hate to have any cost with it all, but that's just the reality of it," Krantz explains. 

Blue sign or cross, money or not, both parties agree drunk driving needs to stop. That way families can spend their money buying Christmas presents for loved ones instead of memorials in their memory.

TxDOT says the money covers a year's worth of maintenance and the family can keep the sign after that year.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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