SAN ANGELO, TX – 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.
“It’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,” said the director of DPS, Steven McCraw. “The 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 Over, Slow Down violations. Additionally, last year’s enforcement efforts resulted in 1,185 felony arrests, 615 DWI arrests, and 355 fugitives arrested.
DPS offers the following tips for making the holiday season safe:
- Do not drink and drive. Make alternative plans if you drink alcohol.
- Move or slow down for Police, Fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) 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 overtaking and slowdown violations.
- Secure everyone in the vehicle, it’s the law.
- Slow down, especially in inclement weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction areas.
- Eliminate distracted 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 plenty of time to reach your destination.
- On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is this courteous driving and avoids obstructing traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to stay on the right and use the left lane for passing only (when displayed).
- If you can steer it, clear it: If you are in an accident without injury and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes 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 the Texas roadside assistance number in your phone. Call 1-800-525-5555 for any type of roadside assistance. The number can also be found on the back of a Texas driver’s license.
- Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- Monitor the weather and road conditions wherever you are. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive texas.