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Be patriotic: Drive safely for July 4

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Texas drivers are urged to drive safely during the July 4 holiday weekend. Starting Friday and going through midnight on Sunday, Texas Highway Patrol troopers will be out in force, looking for people who are driving drunk, speeding or not wearing safety belts.

“Texans can avoid jail by driving sober. Designate a sober driver before the drinking starts and make sure the driver stays sober,” said Highway Patrol chief David Baker. “We want to make sure people are safe. It’s important also to make sure that everyone is properly secured by seat belts or in car seats or booster seats.”

Last year during the extended holiday weekend (July 3-6), DPS troopers made 772 driving while intoxicated arrests and issued 12, 918 speeding citations. During that same weekend, they issued 3,026 tickets for safety belt violations and 434 for child safety seat violations.

Troopers are participating in Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort)—a nationwide campaign by state police agencies to reduce fatalities during holiday periods. They are also participating in Operation Holiday—a statewide effort by law enforcement to reduce fatalities during holiday weekends.

Here are some driving tips the DPS recommends for travelers:

 Slow down, especially if weather and road conditions do not allow for the designated speed.
 Secure everyone in the vehicle properly, either with a safety belt or in the appropriate car seat or booster.
 Save phone calls for home or find a safe place to pull over to make your calls.
 Make sure you have enough gas in the fuel tank to make it to your destination.
 Drive with courtesy—do not participate in road rage behavior.
 Make sure tires are properly inflated and fluids are at the appropriate levels. Check fan belts for excessive wear.


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