DPS Increases Memorial Day Traffic Enforcement

May 20, 2024
DPS Increases Traffic Enforcement

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging Texas motorists to heed driver safety tips and prepare for enhanced Memorial Day enforcement efforts, including the annual Click It or Ticket and Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) campaigns, starting today, May 20, through Memorial Day, May 27.

Click It or Ticket is an enforcement campaign that encourages people to wear their seat belts. Operation CARE is a specialized campaign in which Texas Highway Patrol Troopers look for drivers who are speeding, intoxicated, not complying with Texas’ Move Over, Slow Down law or violating other laws.

“Memorial Day weekend is commonly recognized as the unofficial kickoff to summer, and it is important for drivers to remember that our roads will be a busier than usual,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, DPS asks that motorists take a little extra time when driving, obey traffic laws and be mindful of others when sharing the road. When we remember to buckle up, be courteous of others and follow the traffic laws in place to keep drivers safe, Memorial Day—and every day—is safer for everyone in Texas.”

During the 2023 Memorial Day campaign, Troopers issued more than 37,820 citations and warnings, including 13,920 for speeding; 1,547 for no insurance; and more than 890 for individuals without seat belts or child seat restraints. DPS also arrested 150 people on DWI charges, 129 fugitives and 316 people for other felony charges.

DPS encourages drivers to follow these safety tips during Memorial Day weekend and beyond:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you are consuming alcohol.
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Show the same courtesy to fellow drivers who are stopped on the side of the road. So far in 2024, there have been more than 3,220 Move Over, Slow Down violations.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
  • Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction zones.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits the use of portable wireless devices to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger operate it so you can keep your eyes on the road.
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel can present additional challenges.
  • On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to use the left lane for passing only (when posted).
  • Don’t cut in front of large trucks and try not to brake quickly in front of them. They can’t maneuver as easily as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
  • If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize traffic impact. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm or a secondary wreck. On some highways, if you don’t move your vehicle when it’s safe to do so, it’s against the law.
  • Keep the Texas Roadside Assistance number stored in your phone. Dial 1-800-525-5555 for any type of assistance. The number can also be found on the back of a Texas Driver License.
  • Check your vehicle to make sure it is properly maintained and always ensure your cargo is secure.
  • Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.

DPS also reminds Texans about the iWatchTexas program, a critical resource for reporting suspicious activity within the community to help prevent dangerous attacks. Tips can be reported via the website, the free iWatch iOS or Android mobile app or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports are confidential. For information on how to use iWatchTexas, you can view this how-to video. Remember, iWatchTexas is not for emergencies. If there is an emergency, call 911 immediately.

### (HQ 2024-022)