Troopers out, protecting traveling East Texans

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, with millions of Americans are going to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Lots of people are taking to the roads and, in expectation of more road travel, the Department of Public Safety is putting more troopers on the highway to control speed in hopes of saving lives. The four-day program is called Operation Holiday.

"Troopers act as a visual deterrent to people who may have a tendency to speed or not to wear their seat belt," explained Trooper Jeanne Dark, with Tyler DPS.

On every Texas interstate, troopers will position themselves at 10-mile intervals to establish a presence.

"When you have an increase in vehicle on a roadway, you are going to see an increase in traffic crashes as well," said Dark. "We want to make sure that...people take time [and] pay attention to what they're doing."

The object, especially during high traffic days, is not to hassle but to get drivers to think 'safety' so that they can arrive at their destination. Excessive speed will get you a visit from a trooper. But, they have seen it many times before: families trying to get to their loved ones fast.

"When people feel like they are running behind, this is when you'll see people do what they don't normally do, such as speeding [and] weaving in and out of traffic," said Dark.

What they hope the program does is avoid what many troopers have seen before. A tragedy on the interstate.

"One of the hardest parts of a trooper's job is delivering a death notification that is something we hope to avoid this holiday weekend," said Dark.

Don't forget, as you head out on the highway for your Thanksgiving travels to remember to buckle up. Troopers said they will be out on patrol watching for speeders, drivers who are drunk and anyone not wearing a seat belt.

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