AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be increasing traffic enforcement for the Fourth of July holiday starting today, Tuesday, July 3 through Wednesday, July 4. During this period, DPS Troopers will be looking for DWI, speeding, seat belt and other traffic violations.
"DPS Troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for traffic violators and impaired drivers over the Fourth of July holiday," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "If you plan to consume alcohol, there is no excuse for not designating a sober driver or planning ahead for alternate transportation. DPS urges Texans to celebrate responsibly and take extra precautions to help keep everyone safe."
During the 2017 Fourth of July enforcement period, DPS Troopers issued more than 98,000 tickets and warnings, including 1,658 seat belt and child safety restraint citations. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 529 DWI arrests, 374 fugitive arrests and 300 felony arrests.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1,033 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017 where a driver was under the influence of alcohol, accounting for 28 percent of last year's traffic fatalities.
DPS offers drivers the following tips for enhancing safety on our roads this July Fourth holiday:
- Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.
- 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.
- Slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks 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.
- 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.
- 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. In the event of inclement weather, use extra caution on roadways and be aware of your surroundings. For road conditions/closings in Texas, visit Drive Texas.
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