Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Thanksgiving travelers reminded to drive safely
Houston County Courier - November 2008
AUSTIN - When you’re packing the car for your annual Thanksgiving trip, be sure to pack your patience and drive safely by obeying all traffic laws.
“We want you to get to your destination safely,” said Col. Stan Clark, interim director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"Be patient. There will be a lot of other families traveling, and traffic is likely to be congested. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going, and drive friendly. Slow down, buckle up and drive sober.”
Many travelers are expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving, so all available DPS troopers will be patrolling Texas highways looking for speeders, drunk drivers and those not properly secured by safety restraints.
During the Wednesday through Sunday Thanksgiving period last year, DPS troopers wrote 10,426 citations for speeding and made 400 arrests for driving while intoxicated.
They also arrested 34 minors for driving under the influence of alcohol.
They wrote 1,026 citations for seatbelt violations and 358 for child restraint violations. DPS has a no-warnings policy for seat belt and child restraint violations.
Troopers are participating in Operation CARE—Combined Accident Reduction Effort—a nationwide effort by police agencies to reduce fatalities on major interstate highways during holiday weekends.
DPS expects a large number of travelers on the road and encourages drivers to leave themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going. Avoid bad driving habits that lead to road rage, such as:
* Not using turn signals
* Driving in the passing lane
* Tailgating, flashing lights or honking
* Using high beams in traffic
* Not allowing adequate time for a given trip.
When confronted with aggressive drivers, the DPS recommends that you:
* Put your pride in the back seat and move aside.
* Do not speed up, block lanes, slam or tap on brakes.
* Report extreme cases of reckless driving to the appropriate authorities when the incident occurs.
* Do not retaliate, gesture or make eye contact.
* Make sure everyone is buckled up.