The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind drivers to travel safely as we close out May and head into the Memorial Day holiday. Monday, May 24, through Monday, May 31, Texas Highway Patrol Troopers will participate in Click It or Ticket, an enforcement campaign to encourage people to wear their seat belt, as well as Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort), looking for drivers who are intoxicated, speeding or breaking other traffic laws. Troopers will also watch for drivers not following the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law.
“Roads across the state are getting busier as people begin summer travel,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “With Memorial Day at the end of the month, we encourage Texans, and visitors to our state, to focus on the intent of the day — remembering those who gave their lives serving our country. Honor those sacrifices by doing your part to stay safe on the road. Buckle your seat belt, obey all traffic laws and do not drink and drive.”
During the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, Troopers issued more than 27,000 citations and warnings. This included more than 10,600 warnings and citations for speeding and more than 1,000 warnings and citations for seat belt and child safety restraint violations. DPS enforcement efforts also included 288 DWI citations, 409 fugitive arrests and 77 felony arrests.
DPS encourages drivers to follow these safety tips for Memorial Day weekend:
· 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 2021, there have been 5,645 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).
· 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.
· 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.