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Trash on North Texas roads? How to deal with the debris

We found it's ultimately up to drivers to navigate the mess, but AAA provided some best practices.

DALLAS — We have got to keep it classy, North Texas, not trashy. 

Lately, we've been hearing from colleagues and viewers that the roads here have been less clean than desirable in some places. 

A viewer named Marcela sent us a message saying she sees the trash piling up on the shoulders on her daily commute from Plano to downtown Dallas on I-75 and that it's becoming dangerous.

So she asked us – who is responsible for cleaning and avoiding accidents?

To answer her question, we asked AAA.       

We found it's ultimately up to drivers to navigate the mess, but the agency provided some best practices including:  

  • Scanning the road at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead for debris

  • Giving yourself a healthy distance between you and the vehicle in front of you 

  • Slow down as much as possible before making contact with any debris in the road

  • If you can do so safely, switch lanes to avoid hitting something. If you swerve at a high speed, you could lose control of the wheel or hit another car

Back to Marcela's first question: Who's responsible for cleaning the mess up?

For state roads and highways, TXDOT takes care of that. If you see something in the way, you can submit a report for each request for clean up on the agency's website.

And when it comes to local roads, sidewalks, or bike and pedestrian paths - you'll have to reach out to officials in that city or county to handle requests.      

Let us know if you've noticed the same issue on your drive – and if you have, make sure reach out to officials in your area about it!

As always, if you have a traffic concern in your area, you can email us here.

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