SAN ANGELO, Texas — If you’re traveling for Christmas and New Years over the next week, expect to see more troopers on highways. As highways remain busier than usual with travelers, authorities stress the importance of eliminating distractions and slowing down.
“There’s a lot to say when you’re talking about travelling for the holiday season,” said Justin Baker, Sergeant for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Millions of Texans will be on the roads this holiday season.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists to be safe and have a travel plan in place from beginning to end.
Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is maintained.
“If it’s a long trip, make sure all the levels are topped off to get there and back safely,” explained Sgt. Baker.
According to Sgt. Baker, fatigue is one of the biggest problems the department sees during the holiday season. Make sure you are well-rested before heading out.
“We see a lot of crashes because people fall asleep and drift off the roadways, especially those long, straight roadways. We want to be very careful about getting proper rest,” added Sgt. Baker.
Monitor the weather to and from your destination, and travel to conditions.
“Right now the weather is nice here in San Angelo, but in other parts it may be snow, ice, rain,” continued Sgt. Baker.
Remember that Texas law prohibits the use of mobile devices while driving.
If you see police, fire, EMS or TxDOT vehicles on the side of the road, move over or slow down.
Keep in mind that passengers must wear a seat belt at all times, and small children must be properly secured in a car seat.
Once you get to your destination and begin the festivities, have a plan in place if you are going to be drinking. Designate a driver or call a ride-share service.
“Holiday seasons we expect people to be celebrating but we want people to celebrate responsibly,” said Sgt. Baker.
Sgt. Baker says there will be more DPS troopers out in an effort to increase safety on Texas roads.
In 2018, Troopers issued nearly 100,000 citations and warnings for a variety of violations during the holiday season.
“We’ll have more officers out during the holiday season. Our main objective is voluntary compliance. We don’t want to educate through citations, we want people to on their own comply with the laws and be safe,” added Sgt. Baker.