AUSTIN – This Memorial Day weekend, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is joining law enforcement efforts across the state to help keep Texas roadways safe and encourage motorists to practice safe driving habits. From Friday, May 24, through Monday, May 27, DPS Troopers will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, as well as drivers violating speed limit, seat belt and other traffic laws.
“Memorial Day pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving and protecting our country, and we know many of you will spend the long holiday weekend with family and friends to honor these heroic men and women,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “As you make plans for this weekend, we’re asking all Texans to make safety a top priority. If you’re on the road, be sure to drive sober, wear your seatbelt and obey all traffic laws to help prevent senseless tragedies from occurring. DPS will do our part to keep Texans safe by ramping up patrols on our roadways this Memorial Day weekend.”
During the 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend, DPS Troopers issued nearly 65,000 citations and warnings, including 1,203 seat belt and child safety restraint tickets. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 391 DWI arrests, 225 fugitive arrests and 229 felony arrests.
DPS also supports the state’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign, which runs through June 2. Now in its 17th year, “Click It or Ticket” encourages drivers and passengers to comply with state seat belt laws.
Drivers are urged to follow these safety tips this Memorial Day weekend:
- Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.
- Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.
- 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 the impact on traffic. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane not only increases traffic congestion, but it also leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm and chance for a secondary collision. On some highways, it is actually a violation of the law to not move your vehicle over when it is safe to do so.
- Slow down — especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using a portable wireless device to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Don’t drive fatigued — allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- If you see a road hazard or if you observe anything suspicious, report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- On multi-lane roadways, 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 only use the left lane for passing (when posted).
- Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.
- Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions/closings in Texas, visit Drive Texas.
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