DPS Says Put Safety First During 4th of July


AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is stepping up enforcement efforts for the Fourth of July holiday to keep everyone safe on the roads, including Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE), which runs July 3-7.

Operation CARE is a specialized campaign in which Texas Highway Patrol Troopers patrol for drivers who are speeding, intoxicated, not complying with Texas’ Move Over, Slow Down law, or violating other laws.

“By following our state’s traffic laws, buckling up, and taking additional safety measures, we can make sure everyone enjoys a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “As you begin gathering to celebrate our nation’s freedom, please remember to celebrate responsibly and do your part to keep Texas safe.”  

During last year’s two-day Fourth of July enforcement campaign, Troopers issued more than 18,695 citations and warnings, including 7,255 for speeding; 859 for no insurance; and more than 480 for individuals without seat belts or child seat restraints. DPS also arrested 66 people on DWI charges and 163 people for other felony charges.  

DPS encourages the public to follow these safety tips during the Fourth of July weekend and beyond:

Driver Safety: 

  • 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 who are stopped on the side of the road. So far in 2024, there have been more than 4,510 Move Over, Slow Down 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 the use of portable wireless devices to read, write, or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. 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. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to 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 easily as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
  • 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. Leaving vehicles 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 type of assistance. The number can also be found on the back of a Texas Driver's License.
  • Check your vehicle to make sure 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.

Fireworks Safety: 

  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and flammable materials.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks; supervise older children closely.
  • Light one firework at a time and never relight a “dud” firework.
  • Dispose of used fireworks by soaking them in water before discarding them.

 DPS would also like to remind Texans about the iWatchTexas program, a critical resource for reporting suspicious activity within the community to help prevent dangerous attacks. It’s especially important to be vigilant as people gather for parades, festivals, and other community events. Tips can be reported via the website, the free iWatch iOS or Android mobile app, or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports are confidential. For information on how to use iWatchTexas, you can view this how-to video.

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