DPS enhances traffic enforcement during holiday season

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Monday that it will be enhancing traffic patrols and enforcement from Dec. 23-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

In its announcement, DPS said it is urging drivers to help make the holidays safer by driving sober and using extra caution. In an effort to protect travelers on Texas roadways, DPS troopers, as well as local law enforcement across the state, will conduct traffic patrols throughout the holiday weekends looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators and other dangerous drivers.

“Impaired driving or reckless behavior on the road can turn holiday celebrations into tragedies and these DPS patrols are designed to help save lives by identifying drivers who disregard the law and endanger others,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw, in the release. “By always driving sober, obeying traffic laws, and slowing down or moving over a lane when vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, Texans can help make our roads safer for everyone.”

During the eight-day Christmas/New Year holiday enforcement effort in 2015, DPS troopers made 466 driving while intoxicated arrests. Enforcement efforts also resulted in 9,174 speeding citations, 893 seat belt/child safety seat citations, 320 fugitive arrests and 286 felony arrests during the enforcement period.

DPS offers the following additional tips for safe travel during the holidays:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver or take a cab;
  • Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic;
  • Eliminate distractions, including the use of mobile devices;
  • 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 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;
  • Don’t drive fatigued;
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges; and
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and check the weather forecast before your trip begins.