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Houston Area School Students Champion Technology to Help #EndTheStreak of Fatalities on Texas Roads

The Houston ConnectSmart App provides travelers “Audible School Zone Alerts” and other Road Safety Features

By Girl Power News , in News , at December 2, 2022

Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan and Houston Independent School District officials today joined TxDOT Houston District Engineer Eliza Paul, P.E. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials, the Kailee Mills Foundation, and students at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy of Houston to urge the public’s help to end the streak of traffic fatalities in Texas.

Texas has not gone a day without a motor vehicle fatality since November 7, 2000. TxDOT is determined to End the Streak of traffic deaths in Texas. In 2021, there were 1,312 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the TxDOT six-county Houston District.

To support the effort, TxDOT shared with Houston motorists the features of its Houston ConnectSmart multi-modal mobility app that can support safe driving. The new tool can be used to alert drivers when they enter school zones and when they exceed the speed limit in those zones. The alerts are audible and do not require drivers to avert their attention.

“We are excited to be joined by students at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy who are actively engaged in development of the Houston ConnectSmart app and who are willing to fight for the lives of every Texan by advocating for safety on our roads and highways,” said TxDOT’s Paul.

“We want to reduce traffic fatalities in Texas by 2035 and eliminate them altogether by 2050,” said Commissioner Ryan.  “It is refreshing to be joined by so many young people who are willing to advocate for this mission.”

TxDOT Planning Engineer and Houston ConnectSmart project manager Dr. Brenda Bustillos, P.E. provided an opportunity for the public to get engaged with the mobility app while supporting traffic safety and saving lives.

If you download the free Houston ConnectSmart app and use it between today and November 30th, the app’s developer, Metropia Inc., will donate a dollar for every trip you take, up to ten trips per person and up to $5,000, to the Kailee Mills foundation to promote driver safety education among young people.

The app has numerous other safety features such as the ability to recommend comfort(safer) routes for bicyclists and the ability to help stranded motorists summon a free tow-truck via Tow and Go service where available.

Houston Independent School District Trustee Patricia K. Allen applauded TxDOT’s effort. “If your goal is to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2050, you must ask for the assistance of young who understand the preciousness of life and who are willing to tackle big problems that require changes in culture,” said Allen. “If you are attempting to achieve a goal that will be 30 years in the making, then ultimately these young people will have to be the ones to carry the mission through.”

In 2021 4,492 people died on Texas roads and Highways, the highest total ever recorded.

The electronic media kit for this event is available at the link below:

The Houston ConnectSmart app is available on iPhone and android. Go to download.