Traffic enforcement heats up July 4th weekend

Posted by Michael Hetrick

Information provided by Jean Dark, Texas Department of Safety

DPS urges Texans not to take a holiday from driving safety and avoid tragedy on Texas roadways the July Fourth weekend. All available DPS troopers will be out patrolling during the long holiday weekend to keep the traveling public safer.

The remnants of Alex could provide an extra challenge for the traveling public. Exercise caution and reduce speed when driving in rainy weather conditions.

Troopers will focus on drunk drivers, seat belt violators and speeders. Additional law enforcement presence on holiday weekends increases the likelihood motorists will get caught violating traffic laws.

"We want people to celebrate America's birthday, but we want them to do it responsibly," said Assistant Director David Baker, who oversees the Texas Highway Patrol. "People know when they are going to drink. Plan ahead, get a designated driver—or don't get behind the wheel if you have been drinking."

A reminder: the new car seat law went into full effect June 1. Children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

Last year during the extended holiday weekend, DPS troopers made 729 DWI arrests, issued 11,420 speeding citations and ticketed more than 3,000 seat belt and child safety seat violators.

DPS offers these tips for safe travel over the Fourth of July holiday:

· Drive with courtesy; it's contagious.

· Slow down—especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.

· Don't drink and drive; get a designated driver.

· Buckle up everyone in the vehicle.

· Keep cell phone chatter to a minimum, and don't text while driving.

· Don't drive drowsy; pull over or switch drivers if you need to.

· Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.

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