Texas Adding New Rest Stops

Amarillo, TX - Unlike other states, Texas is not hitting the brakes on roadside rest stops.

At a time when budget cuts are forcing many states to shut down rest areas, Texas is spending millions to build new ones and renovate current buildings.

Under this new construction plan, Texas already has 29 roadside rest areas, and another 52 are in the works... Each equipped with state of the art facilities and WiFi.

TxDOT is projected to spend another thirty million on rest areas by the end of the year. TxDOT says it all with one goal in mind... Encouraging drivers to pull off the road and rest, so they do not fall asleep at the wheel and cause accidents.

Rest Stop Supervisor Daphne Adkins says, "People don't realize when you get on the road, when you've been traveling, people don't realize how exhausted they are. If they would stop just every two hours, every two hours just get up, stretch, walk around, even if just walk around your car."

Some are wondering why millions are being spent on rest areas when several local roads are in need of improvements.

TxDOT says that money is from the federal government and came with strings attached.

Paul Braun says, "The federal government says you've gotta spend it on that, so that's what we're spending it on. None of this money that we're using on these rest areas is money that was taken away from improving roads or building new roads.

Two completely separate categories." To put the "falling asleep at the wheel" problem into perspective... It's estimated that nearly 1,500 people die every year in fatigue related crashes.