AUSTIN — Texas is in the midst of a road-pothole crisis, with more than half of its roads in need of repair or replacement.
The state is also dealing with a massive population increase and has seen a rash of deadly collisions, many involving driver error, according to a report by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Drivers who have been caught in potholes have been charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to two months in jail and a $500 fine, according the report, which was released Friday.
The report said the number of collisions was up by nearly half from the previous year, from 5.7 million to 6.9 million.
The department also said that more than 6,500 potholed intersections were in need and more than 1,000 were under repair or reconstruction.
That is a 30 percent increase from the 562 such intersections in 2014.
More than 1.3 million vehicles travel through Texas’ roads each day, a figure that is expected to grow to 6 million by 2020, according a state report.
Some of those vehicles are being driven by teenagers and older drivers.
Driving through a potholike intersection can cause accidents, such as a crash involving a car traveling at 40 miles per hour.
Drives that go through a highway without potholing can also result in injuries and even fatalities.
The problem has gotten so bad that the state plans to take over the maintenance of the state’s roads, with the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Texas Rangers and other agencies to oversee the work.
In a statement Friday, Gov.
Greg Abbott said the state had the resources to fix the problem.
“We have the tools to address this and we are working hard to do so,” he said.