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Buckle Up, Drive Safely For Memorial Day

AUSTIN – Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding drivers to celebrate as they enjoy their holiday safely. Today through May 30, the Texas Highway Patrol will participate in Click It or Ticket and Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort). Click It or Ticket is an enforcement campaign that encourages people to wear their seat belts. Operation CARE is a specialized campaign in which Troopers look for drivers who are speeding, intoxicated, or violating other laws. In addition, troopers will also watch for drivers not complying with the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law.

“Memorial Day always means busy highways across the state, and we encourage all drivers to take their time to get to their destinations safely,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “By following traffic laws, paying attention to other drivers, and buckling your seat belt, we can all do our part to make the roads as safe as possible and enjoy the long Memorial Day holiday.”

During the 2021 Memorial Day campaign, Troopers issued more than 115,700 citations and warnings. It includes 6,513 citations for speeding, 1,860 for no insurance, and more than 1,200 citations for individuals without a seat belt or child seat restraints. DPS also arrested 445 people on DWI charges, 333 fugitives, and 667 for other felony charges.

DPS encourages drivers to follow these safety tips during Memorial Day weekend and beyond:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you are consuming alcohol.
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles, and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped on the side of the road. So far in 2022, there have been 3,423 violations.
  • 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 portable wireless devices from reading, writing, or sending an electronic message unless you stop your 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. It is 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 and 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, you should move your vehicle and 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 a Texas Driver’s License.
  • Check your vehicle to ensure it is properly 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.