DPS encourages caution in driving during holiday season

Dec. 26, 2011 at 6:26 a.m.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will have extra troopers on the highways during the New Year's holiday weekend.

From Friday through Sunday, the highway patrol troopers will be assisted by troopers from the Commercial Vehicle Unit in patrolling.

Troopers will be looking for intoxicated drivers, speeders, drivers following too close, cutting in and out of traffic, passengers not wearing safety belts and other hazards.

"The department is asking all motorists to help make our roads and highways safer during the period by not drinking before driving, don't talk or text when driving, drive at a safe speed, be courteous to other drivers and buckle up," said DPS Trooper Gerald Bryant.

Many vehicle fatalities during the holidays are alcohol-related with pedestrians involved. Most fatal accidents occur less than 25 miles from home, according to research by the Department of Public Safety.

The department would like to remind those consuming alcohol during the holidays to be sure a designated driver who is not drinking is available to help transport everyone safely home, Bryant said.

The area has had three traffic fatalities during the New Year's holiday since 2007.

Last year, Maria Vela, 85, and Ancelmo Vela, 92, were killed on US 59 in Jackson County in a one vehicle roll over crash.

The two years prior, DPS did not investigate any fatal collisions in Victoria and surrounding counties, but during the 2007 to 2008 New Year's period, Pedro Mendez, 56, was killed when a commercial bus ran off road and overturned on U.S. 59, four miles south of Victoria. Several other people were injured in that collision.

Communications personnel will remain on duty throughout this holiday period for emergencies.



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