TYLER, Texas (KETK) – To help reduce the number of deaths in East Texas, TxDOT has launched a program called “Be Safe, Drive Smart.”

“Rolling billboards” were on the campuses of UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College to spread the word about driver and pedestrian safety.

“You can only make one fatal mistake once,” said event manager Robert Santiago.

Mobile billboards carried human-sized panels on their backs recalling road safety.

“We have more signs for drivers than pedestrians because frankly there are more cars passing us,” Santiago said.

Road deaths aren’t just a big city problem, Nacogdoches police say they’ve had 16 pedestrian fatalities over the past 21 months.

“There’s been a couple times where somebody started spinning and hadn’t seen me and I’m like ‘hello, I’m here’ and they kind of stop and laugh about it,” Sarah said. Weissend, student at Stephen F. Austin.

Jaywalking is illegal and dangerous, a ticket may be issued if someone is caught.

“We encourage them to take the real bend, use the intersection, use the lights, push the button and be patient because although pedestrians account for 1% of traffic accidents, they account for 20% of fatalities. (traffic) in Texas,” Santiago said.

According to TxDOT, the winter and fall months are the most dangerous times of the year on the roads due to low visibility.

“Use reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, something like that to let motorists know you’re there,” said TxDOT public information officer Jeff Williford.

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