"Between distractions and the rush to get to holiday destinations, it's easy for drivers to lose focus on the road," said Assistant Director Luis Gonzalez, Chief of the Texas Highway Patrol Division. "Practicing safe driving habits will help ensure everyone arrives at their Thanksgiving destination without incident."
Drivers are also reminded to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit for stopped emergency vehicles with emergency lights activated, or to vacate the lane closest to the vehicle if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction. Effective September 1, 2011, this law applies to tow trucks in addition to law enforcement, fire and emergency medical vehicles.
DPS troopers, along with many law enforcement agencies, will be patrolling throughout the holiday weekend to promote safety. During the Thanksgiving weekend in 2010, DPS troopers arrested 376 individuals for driving while intoxicated, issued 9,025 speeding citations and issued more than 1,000 safety restraint citations.
DPS offers the following tips to ensure safe travels:
Minimize distractions as much as possible. Don't text and drive and keep cell phone chatter to a minimum. Just drive.
Don't travel fatigued. Switch drivers or find a safe location and take a break.
Adjust speed for weather, traffic conditions and emergency vehicles.
Don't drink and drive; designate a driver.
Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up.