DIARY: Texas kills its beloved death program

Texas reporters can no longer count on the state highway patrol for easy stories over the long holiday weekends of summer: the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has officially sounded the death knell for its somewhat gruesome Operation Motorcide program.

Texas reporters can no longer count on the state highway patrol for easy stories over the long holiday weekends of summer: the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has officially sounded the death knell for its somewhat gruesome Operation Motorcide program.

Texas reporters can no longer count on the state highway patrol for

easy stories over the long holiday weekends of summer: the Texas

Department of Public Safety (DPS) has officially sounded the death knell

for its somewhat gruesome Operation Motorcide program.



For at least the past 40 years, DPS issued press releases prior to every

holiday estimating how many people would crash and burn on the state’s

highways. While everyone else enjoyed the day off, public information

officers would be required to write daily death-count press

releases.



The Texas PIOs tried unsuccessfully for years to kill the ’tradition,’

which the National Safety Council discontinued in the early 1990s. In

the end, the fatal shot was fired by overworked statisticians concerned

about accuracy.



Ironically, Operation Motorcide got more notice in death than it did in

life, according to assistant chief of media relations Tela Mange.

Although media interest had been waning for years, dozens of reporters

called in response to a notice from the DPS that they would have to find

other news over the Memorial Day weekend.



’Some of them are just abjectly sad,’ Mange says.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in