May 21, 2013 NEWS RELEASE
DPS Increases Patrols for Memorial Day Weekend
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will significantly increase trooper patrols this Memorial Day weekend to help keep Texas roadways safe. During the increased patrols Friday, May 24, through Monday, May 27, troopers will be looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators and other traffic violators statewide.
“Memorial Day is a time of reverence and remembrance for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS encourages Texans to mark the holiday responsibly by adhering to safe driving practices and by not drinking and driving. Troopers will be out in force, and are prepared to issue tickets to drivers disobeying traffic laws in an effort to keep our roadways safe.”
Last year during the Memorial Day weekend, DPS troopers arrested 609 drunk drivers and issued more than 6,000 speeding citations, nearly 1,400 seat belt and child safety restraint tickets, and cited 825 drivers for driving without insurance. Additionally, troopers arrested 264 wanted fugitives and 219 suspects with felony warrants. The increased traffic enforcement also resulted in 10 drug cases and 16 stolen vehicles recovered.
Drivers can take a variety of measures to help ensure safe travel during the Memorial Day weekend, including:
- Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
- Don’t drive fatigued, and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.
- Slow down* or move over for tow trucks and police, fire and EMS vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.
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* The Texas’ “Move Over Act” was passed by the 78th Texas Legislature, took effect September 1, 2003, and can be found in Texas Transportation Code 545.157 and was amended later to add tow trucks. The law says to move over one lane or slow down 20 mph for emergency vehicles or tow trucks with their lights flashing. If going slower than 25 mph, the law requires a speed of 5 mph. I’ve seen videos of the awful crashes from DPS Highway Patrol dashboard cams from drivers who did not move over or slow down. Cars have been destroyed and people injured and killed. Please, please, obey this law.