AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety is preparing to beef up their patrol efforts for Labor Day weekend.
From Friday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 5, DPS troopers will join law enforcement from across the state in looking for drivers who disregard traffic laws, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the department.
“Texans are killed on our roadways every day because of reckless drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking, and DPS works around-the-clock to help prevent these tragedies,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in the release. “During the Labor Day weekend, troopers will be on the lookout for impaired and dangerous drivers, and we are urging drivers to do their part by strictly obeying traffic laws and finding alternative transportation if they plan to drink.”
During last year’s Labor Day holiday enforcement period troopers made 488 driving while intoxicated arrests, issued 8,515 speeding citations, 1,091 seat belt/child safety seat citations and 1,062 citations for not having insurance, according to statistics provided by the department.
Officials said troopers also made 278 fugitive arrests and 224 felony arrests during the same time period.
The DPS asks motorists to use extra caution when traveling and offers the following safety tips:
• Don’t drink and drive – designate a driver or take a cab.
• Eliminate distractions, including the usage of mobile devices.
• Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
• Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.
• Slow down or move over for police, fire and EMS vehicles as well as tow trucks and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law. (When you see a fellow motorist on the side of the road, slow down or move over a lane for them too, if it is safe to do so.)
• Don’t drive fatigued.
• Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.