The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a travelers’ alert for the Thanksgiving holiday. This important information is reprinted here in full:
Thanksgiving Travelers Should Slow Down, Buckle Up and Drive Sober
Thanksgiving travelers should expect to see plenty of Highway Patrol troopers out on Texas roadways. Troopers will be looking for drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or who are not properly restrained, or have passengers who aren’t buckled up.
“Thanksgiving should be a happy time,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the DPS. “Don’t turn the holiday into a tragic time for you or others because of bad driving decisions.”
During the Wednesday through Sunday Thanksgiving period last year, DPS troopers wrote 14,686 tickets for speeding and 3,358 tickets for no insurance. They wrote 2,138 tickets for no seat belts and 298 tickets for child restraint violations. DPS has a no-warnings policy for seat belt and child restraint violations.
Troopers also arrested 613 people for DWI and issued 60 tickets to minors who were operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol.
“If you drink, you should not drive. Be sure to designate a driver who has not been drinking alcoholic beverages,” Col. Davis said.
DPS is participating in Operation CARE—Combined Accident Reduction Effort—a nationwide effort by police agencies to reduce fatalities on major interstate highways during holiday weekends.
Plan your route and be aware that construction may delay your travel.
Since roads are more likely to be crowded, DPS reminds drivers to leave themselves plenty time to get where they’re going. Avoid bad driving habits that lead to road rage, such as:
- Not using turn signals
- Driving in the passing lane
- Tailgating, flashing lights or honking
- Using high beams in traffic
- Not allowing adequate time for a given trip.
When confronted with aggressive drivers, the DPS recommends that you:
- Put your pride in the back seat and move aside.
- Do not speed up, block lanes, slam or tap on brakes.
- Report extreme cases of reckless driving to the appropriate authorities when the incident occurs.
- Do not retaliate, gesture or make eye contact.
- Make sure everyone is buckled up.