DPS to add more troopers on roadways over Fourth of July weekend

It’s all part of its Operation CARE and Operation Holiday initiatives

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of Public Safety will be adding more Highway Patrol Troopers on the road from now until Monday, July 5, as part of its Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction and Effort) and Operation Holiday.

DPS Troopers will be looking for drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or not wearing their seat belts.

“We understand it’s a holiday weekend, people want to celebrate. We’re asking you to celebrate safely, and you know, plan ahead before you begin celebrating. That way, you get home safely,” says DPS Sgt. Orlando Moreno.

Operation Holiday will run on Saturday and Sunday and targets drivers who violate traffic laws.

During the 2020 campaign, there were 39,913 citations and warnings. This includes 15,821 warnings and citations for speeding, as well as more than 1,100 warnings and citations for seat belt and child safety restraint violations.

DPS enforcement efforts also included 308 DWI citations, 453 felony arrests and 101 fugitive arrests, according to officials.

Below are some safety tips from DPS to help keep you safe during the holiday weekend:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you’re consuming alcohol.
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, 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
  • 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, you’re violating the law.
  • Check your vehicle to make sure it’s 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’re traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.

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About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.