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Hitting the road for Thanksgiving?

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Many travelers are expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving, so all available DPS troopers will be patrolling Texas highways looking for speeders, drunk drivers and those not properly secured by safety restraints.

When you’re packing the car for your annual Thanksgiving trip, be sure to pack your patience and drive safely by obeying all traffic laws.

“Please drive carefully. Crashes can happen in just a second, so pay attention,” said David Baker, assistant director for the Texas Highway Patrol. “We want everyone to arrive safely this weekend. Be patient, slow down and drive sober.”

During the Wednesday through Sunday Thanksgiving period last year, DPS troopers wrote 5,322 citations for speeding and made 252 arrests for driving while intoxicated. They wrote 562 citations for seatbelt violations and 257 for child restraint violations.

Troopers are participating in Operation CARE—Combined Accident Reduction Effort—a nationwide effort by police agencies to reduce fatalities on major interstate highways during holiday weekends.

DPS expects a large number of travelers on the road and encourages drivers to leave themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going. Avoid bad driving habits that lead to road rage, such as:

·       Not using turn signals

·       Driving in the passing lane

·       Tailgating, flashing lights or honking

·       Using high beams in traffic

·       Not allowing adequate time for a given trip.

When confronted with aggressive drivers, the DPS recommends that you:

    1. Put your pride in the back seat and move aside.
    2. Do not speed up, block lanes, slam or tap on brakes.
    3. Report extreme cases of reckless driving to the appropriate authorities when the incident occurs.
    4. Do not retaliate, gesture or make eye contact.
    5. Make sure everyone is buckled up.

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