HOUSTON (KIAH) –  With millions of Texans expected on the roads this holiday season, the Texas Department of Public Safety is encouraging drivers to end the 2021 safely during their annual Christmas and New Year’s holiday traffic enforcement campaigns. 

Starting Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, DPS will kick off the nationwide Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort) and Operation Holiday from Dec. 24 through Dec. 26. DPS says they’ll be on the lookout for drivers who are speeding, not wearing their seat belts, driving while intoxicated and other traffic violations. 

DPS is offering the following tips to make this holiday travel season safe:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Prepare alternate plans when consuming alcohol.
  • Move Over or Slow Down. This applies to police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles, tow trucks and other drivers stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle.
  • Slow down.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Don’t drive fatigued.
  • Use the left lane for passing only on multi-lane roads.
  • 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 traffic impact.
  • Check your vehicle.
  • Keep the Texas Roadside Assistance number, 1-800-525-5555, stored in your phone.
  • Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling.

“It’s always nice to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, but please keep the well-being of other travelers at the forefront of your mind as you head out. Troopers will be protecting the public on the roads, but we depend on other drivers to do their part, as well, so everyone can have a safe and happy holiday.”  

DPS Director Steven McCraw

In 2020, DPS says there were 116,810 citations and warnings issued, including 499 speeding citations, 1,636 seat belt and child seat violations, 2,625 citations for driving without insurance and 820 citations and warnings for Move Over, Slow Down violations.