AUSTIN – As Texans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding motorists to make safety a priority and to enjoy the holiday weekend responsibly.
“Thanksgiving should be a time of celebration with family and friends, and we are encouraging everyone to take some simple but potentially life-saving steps to celebrate responsibly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS Troopers will also be on the lookout for drivers who needlessly endanger others by disregarding the law. Everyone, especially motorists, has a part to play in keeping our roadways safe, and it is imperative that you take this responsibility seriously.”
DPS Troopers, and other Texas law enforcement agencies, will be patrolling around-the-clock during the holiday weekend looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators, and other motorists who are endangering themselves or the public.
During the Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, DPS troopers issued 51,592 traffic citations and warnings for a variety of violations, including speeding, no insurance and seat belt/child safety seat usage. DPS patrols also resulted in 275 driving while intoxicated arrests, 198 fugitive arrests and 141 felony arrests during the same time period.
DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during the Thanksgiving holiday:
- Do not drink and drive.
- Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
- Don’t drive fatigued – allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.
- Slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks that are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.
- Monitor weather and road conditions (https://drivetexas.org) wherever you are traveling. In the event of inclement weather, use extra caution on roadways.