Rommel, A Ross 1973-06-05

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ross Rommel, Texas Traffic Safety Administrator, gives his background and a brief history of the Texas Traffic Safety Administration, sponosred by Governor Preston Smith.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: A. Ross Rommel

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 05, 1973

Location: Austin, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Carpenter

Length: 1 hour 15 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Autobiographical data given, Describes rise in Humble Oil Company, Enters industrial safety area, Outlines development of Texas Drivers’ Education Program, Wife’s occupation and avocations given, Wife’s name—Mary Jane Hale—given and her, Houston _Chronicle_ column described, Describes Governor Preston Smith’s original proposal for him to direct a state traffic safety program, Expresses his reluctance to serve because of past, failures of similar programs, Mentions Governor Smith’s citation of the Highway, Safety Act (1966).

Tape 1, Side 2: Summarizes initial development of Office of Traffic, Safety Administration, after June 1969, Thomas A. Bishop hired as an assistant, Vernon McGee and Fritz Lanham mentioned, Administrator’s qualifications described, Tells of meetings of key traffic safety personnel in state agencies, Philosophy of program given, Support of top management, Texas Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee explained, Discusses traffic safety analyses at local levels, Coordination of traffic safety activities, Workshops for counties and cities developed, States systems approach to spending of traffic safety funds, Mentions other legislative agency aspects of traffic safety, Implied consent and breathalizer program, Department of Public Safety computerization, Driver education, problems and successes, Ambulance attendant certification program, Regional Traffic Safety Program Specialists, "Drive Friendly" from Weldon Hart, National and international recognition of traffic safety program.

Tape 2, Side 1: Continues with a discussion of Texas Community, Impact program, Discusses rural traffic safety, particularly in relation, to sheriffs’ departments, Program is for manpower development safety program development, not for equipment, Cites statistics for program success, Stresses drunk driving as biggest problem, Regional Councils of Governments bypassed for funding, Mexican-Americans and accidents are related, Emphasizes need for Spanish materials, Returns to international conferences, Public support conferences for traffic safety mentioned, Role of Texas Governor, Use of National Guard for holiday weekends.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1966-1973

Bulk Dates: 1969-1973

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.