Gov. Edwards’ proclamation seeks safer rural roads in Louisiana

Having trouble? View this email in your browser.

July 17, 2023 - Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed July 17-21 as “Rural Road Safety Awareness Week,” and is calling on local governments and citizens to work toward eliminating impaired driving and speeding on rural roads, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission announced.

The proclamation points out there were 547 fatal motor vehicle crashes on rural roads in Louisiana in 2021. That represents nearly 62% of all fatal crashes in Louisiana and a 12% increase from 2020, according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU.

“In 2021, at least one person in Louisiana was injured every 30 minutes in a crash on a rural road,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “Rural roads usually have lower traffic volumes, leading some drivers to think it is OK to speed. That can be a painful or even deadly mistake.”

Impaired driving also contributes to crashes on rural roads. In 2021, there were 1,034 alcohol-related crashes that injured at least one person and 176 fatal crashes involving alcohol on Louisiana’s rural roads, according to CARTS.

The proclamation calls on local governments to fight impaired driving and speeding by “increasing awareness through public service announcements, increasing enforcement efforts, and installing warning systems in high-risk areas.” Governor Edwards also encouraged “all road users to do their part in promoting safe driving habits,” by obeying speed limits, driving sober, and avoiding distracted driving."

Rural Road Safety Awareness Week is part of the “What’s SPEED got to do with it” campaign from the National Center for Rural Road Safety, a Federal Highway Administration-funded center for training, resources, technical assistance, and education on rural road safety issues.

For more information, contact:

Gregory Fischer

Public Information Officer

DPS – Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

[email protected]


Mark Lambert


[email protected]

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram