As we head towards the unofficial end of summer this weekend, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind all drivers to be safe on the road and exercise caution as holiday travel ramps up for Labor Day. The Texas Highway Patrol will be increasing enforcement starting today, Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2. Troopers will be looking for drivers who violate the law, including those not adhering to the Move Over, Slow Down law, failing to wear seat belts, speeding and driving while intoxicated, among other traffic violations. “DPS is reminding drivers to do their part to keep our roadways safe this Labor Day weekend,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Every time you get behind the wheel, you have an obligation to drive responsibly as your actions could either protect or endanger yourself and others. At DPS, we’ll be doing our part to help keep everyone safe by increasing patrols and enforcing traffic laws.”
Drivers are urged to follow these safety tips during the Labor Day holiday on the roads:
• Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.
• If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize the impact on traffic. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane not only increases traffic congestion, but it also leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm and chance for a secondary collision. On some highways, it is actually a violation of the law to not move your vehicle over when it is safe to do so.
• Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.
• Slow down — especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
• Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using a portable wireless device to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped.
• Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
• Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
• Don’t drive fatigued — allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
• If you see a road hazard or if you observe anything suspicious, report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.
• On multi-lane roadways, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to only use the left lane for passing (when posted).
• Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.
• Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions/closings in Texas, visit Drive Texas. Our increased enforcement efforts run in conjunction with Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort). Operation CARE is an initiative among police agencies across the country — including the Texas Highway Patrol — that increases enforcement efforts during designated time periods throughout the year, including holidays like Labor Day.