LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging everyone to safely end 2021 as they hit the road for vacation. The Texas Highway Patrol will conduct its annual traffic control campaigns over the Christmas and New Years holidays starting December 23, looking for people who are speeding, not wearing their seat belts, driving while intoxicated. or commit other traffic violations.
âIt’s always nice to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, but please keep the well-being of other travelers at the forefront of your mind when you go,â said the director of DPS, Steven McCraw. âThe soldiers will protect the public on the roads, but we also depend on other drivers to do their part, so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable vacation. “
Highway Patrol will strengthen law enforcement through two initiatives: National Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), which runs from December 23 to January 2, and Operation Holiday, which takes place simultaneously from December 24 to December 26.
During the DPS Christmas and New Years 2020 law enforcement efforts, 116,810 citations and warnings were issued. This included 14,499 citations for speeding; 1,636 violations of seat belts and child seats; 2,625 tickets for driving without insurance; and 820 citations and warnings for Move, slow down offenses. Additionally, last year’s enforcement efforts resulted in 1,185 felony arrests, 615 DWI arrests, and 355 fugitives arrested.
DPS offers the following tips to make the holiday season safe:
- Do not drink and drive. Make alternative plans if you drink alcohol.
- Move or slow down for police, firefighters, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles, and tow trucks stopped by the side of the road with the hazard warning lights turned on. Show the same courtesy to other drivers who are stopped on the side of the road. This year alone, between January 1 and December 14, the DPS issued 12,060 warnings and citations for Move, slow down offenses.
- Buckle up your belt everyone in the vehicle is the law.
- To slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits the use of portable wireless devices to read, write, or send e-mail unless the vehicle is stopped. If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger manage it so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Drive defensively, as vacation travel can present additional challenges.
- Don’t drive tired – allow enough time to reach your destination.
- On multi-lane roads, use the left lane to pass only. Not only is this courteous driving and avoids obstructing traffic, Texas law also requires slower traffic to stay on the right and use the left lane only for passing (when displayed).
- Whether you can Run it, clean it up: If you are in an accident without injury and your vehicle can be moved, keep the traffic lanes clear to minimize the impact on traffic. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and puts those affected at an increased risk of damage or secondary wreckage. On some highways, if you do not move your vehicle when it is safe to do so, it is illegal.
- Check your vehicle to make sure it is properly maintained and always make sure your cargo is secure.
- Keep Texas Roadside Assistance number saved in your phone. Dial 1-800-525-5555 for any type of road assistance. The number can also be found on the back of a Texas driver’s license.
- Reporting road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- Monitor weather and road conditions where you go. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.
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