FROM STAFF REPORTS
AUSTIN — From drunken and distracted driving to seatbelt and speeding violations, bad behavior on the area’s roadways will be on the radar of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers July 3-4.
“DPS troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for traffic violators and impaired drivers over the Fourth of July holiday,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a statement.
In 2017 during the Independence Day holiday enforcement period, troopers issued 98,000 tickets and warnings.
The death count on the roads during that time due to the influence of alcohol was more than 1,000, nearly 30 percent of last year’s total traffic fatalities.
“If you plan to consume alcohol, there is no excuse for not designating a sober driver or planning ahead for alternate transportation. DPS urges Texans to celebrate responsibly and take extra precautions to help keep everyone safe,” McGraw wrote.
As many as 529 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated, according to DPS.
Other violations during the July 4, 2017, enforcement period included seatbelt and child safety restraint citations (1,658), fugitive arrests (374), and felony arrests (300).
DPS officials offered the following common sense reminders to avoid accidents and enhance safety:
• make alternative travel plans, such as a designated driver or driving services, if consuming alcohol;
• drive at slower speeds in construction areas, heavy traffic, and bad weather and check weather conditions in advance;
• eliminate distractions while driving such as texting, talking on a cellphone, reading, or watching a movie;
• buckle up everyone in the vehicle, especially children in regulated safety seats;
• slow down or move over for first responders stopped on the roadways with emergency lights activated;
• allow for plenty of rest and time to reach destinations and avoid driving fatigued;
• and make sure vehicles are properly maintained prior to a trip.
For information about roadway conditions, go to https://drivetexas.org.