DPS and TxDOT Announce Holiday Weekend Crackdowns
Just in time for the summer season, which begins unofficially with Memorial Day weekend, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) have announced two initiatives designed to tackle two of the biggest problems on Texas roads.
One of them is the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which began on May 23 and will continue to run until June 5. During this period, police agencies all over the state will be cracking down on those drivers and passengers who choose not to buckle up. Under Texas law, everyone in a vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt at all times when the vehicle is in motion. Those who aren’t buckled up can face fines and court costs of as much as $200. In addition, any child who is younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they’re greater than 4 feet 9 inches tall.
According to TxDOT, there were 2,370 vehicle crashes in Texas involving occupants who were not wearing seatbelts in 2015. Those crashes resulted in 889 fatalities and 1,854 serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts increase the chances of surviving a car crash by 45 percent, a number that jumps to 60 percent when it comes to pickup trucks, which are twice as likely as cars to roll over.
These campaigns obviously work. TxDOT estimates that the “Click It or Ticket” campaign in Texas has saved 4,687 lives and prevented 79,578 serious injuries since it was established in 2002. Even more impressive is that, in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans used their seat belts, while these days that number is about 90%.
TxDOT and DPS have also announced that it plans to join all police departments in the state in an initiative to crack down on drunk driving on Texas roadways. Using stepped up patrols, from May 27 through May 30, DPS troopers will be looking for drunk drivers. They are making it clear that the reason for Memorial Day is to remember the sacrifices of those who have served our country, so they are asking that Texans honor their memory and be responsible and plan ahead to prevent needless tragedy.
In addition to looking out for drunk drivers, they will also be looking for drivers who speed and those who violate other traffic laws. And they mean business. During Memorial Day weekend in 2015, DPS troopers arrested 270 drunk drivers and issued 3,766 speeding citations, 571 seat belt/child safety restraint tickets, and they issued 507 citations for driving without insurance. TxDOT and DPS just want everyone to consider the consequences should they cause an accident and reminding them of the financial costs of driving under the influence, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars in some cases, even if you don’t cause an accident.
We at the Hill Law Firm want everyone in Texas and elsewhere to have a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend the laws and drive safely, or it could cost you more than you think.