AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas Highway Patrol (THP) will be initiating two traffic safety campaigns during the holiday weekend looking for people violating traffic laws from Friday, July 1, through Monday, July 4.
“Our nation’s freedom is something worth celebrating, and I encourage everyone to do it responsibly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “This includes being mindful of our state’s traffic laws and being courteous of other drivers on the roads so that everyone can have a good holiday.”
Operation Holiday will run July 2 through July 4 and target drivers who violate traffic laws, including those speeding, not wearing their seat belts, or driving while intoxicated. It includes 17,376 citations and warnings for speeding, 2,006 for people driving without seat belts or child safety seats, and 1,632 for people driving without insurance. During the 2021 campaign, there were 55,776 citations and warnings issued. In addition, there were 298 people arrested for driving while intoxicated, 280 felony arrests, and 145 fugitive arrests.
Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort) will run from July 1 through July 4 and focuses on reducing crashes and violations of the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law. The law requires all drivers to slow down when police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles, and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with their emergency lights activated. From Jan. 1 through June 7, 2022, there were 4,135 Move Over, Slow Down violations.
DPS offers the following safety tips for people driving during the Fourth of July holiday:
- Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you are consuming alcohol.
- Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles, and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
- Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas, or construction zones.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using portable wireless devices to read, write or send an electronic message unless you stop the vehicle. If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger operate it so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel can present additional challenges.
- On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, but Texas law also requires slower traffic to keep to the right and use the left lane for passing only when posted.
- Don’t cut in front of large trucks; try not to brake quickly in front of them. They can’t maneuver as quickly as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
- If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and can move your vehicle, clear the traffic lanes to minimize traffic impact. Leaving cars in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm or a secondary wreck. On some highways, if you don’t move your vehicle when it’s safe to do so, it’s against the law.
- Keep the Texas Roadside Assistance number stored in your phone. Dial 1-800-525-5555 for any assistance. You can also find the number on the back of a Texas Driver’s License.
- Check your vehicle to ensure it is adequately maintained, and always ensure your cargo is secure.
- Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.