DPS Troopers Launch Operation CARE For Thanksgiving Holiday

November 24, 2008

Troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety will be on the lookout this Thanksgiving holiday for seatbelt violators, speeders and drunk drivers as a part of Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, or Operation CARE.


Senior Trooper Gary Pflughaupt said extra troopers will be watching for drivers who present a threat to themselves or others.


“With the holiday season upon us and gas prices dropping, we expect more drivers on our roadways,” Pflughaupt said. “Many people will choose not to wear their seatbelts and some drivers will be impaired. DPS will have all available troopers out on the road during the Thanksgiving holiday.”


Operation CARE is a nationwide effort to reduce fatalities during holiday periods. Texas troopers will be joining other state agencies with the goal of keeping state highways safe.


Operation CARE starts Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and concludes Nov. 30 at midnight, a total of five days.


“Operation CARE helps raise public awareness of the penalties one could incur if found driving recklessly in the state of Texas,” Pflughaupt said. “We urge parents to set an example by wearing their seatbelts and to utilize car safety seats for their children.”


During last year’s Thanksgiving Operation CARE, troopers wrote 10,426 citations for speeding and made 400 arrests for drunk driving. They also detained 34 minors driving under the influence.


Additionally, troopers wrote 1,026 citations for seatbelt violations and 358 tickets for child restraint violations. Pflughaupt stressed that the DPS has a no-warning policy for seatbelt and child restraint violations.


With fuel prices declining from record highs this summer, Pflughaupt said roads are more likely to be more crowded. He is reminding drivers to leave themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going.


He also urged drivers to avoid driving habits that may lead to road rage, such as:

  • Not using turn signals.
  • Driving in the passing lane.
  • Tailgating, flashing headlights or honking.
  • Using high beams in traffic.
  • Not allowing adequate time for a given trip.

 If confronted by an aggressive driver, the DPS recommends drivers:

  • Put their pride in the back seat and move aside.
  • Do not speed up, block lanes, slam or tap on brakes.
  • Report extreme cases of reckless driving to authorities.
  • Do not retaliate, gesture or make eye contact.

 Some other safety tips for holiday travel include:

  • Obey the speed limit, utilize safety restraints and driver sober.
  • Inspect car fluid levels, tire air pressure, spare tires and windshield wipers.
  • Place a flashlight, blankets, bottled water, snacks, a first aid kit and a mobile phone in vehicles for emergencies.
  • Plan travel routes and be aware that road conditions and weather conditions may delay travel time.


Motorists should also make note of the state’s stranded and disabled motorist helpline number for roadside emergencies. The number is 800-525-5555.


Drivers should also be certain to get plenty of rest and drive defensively.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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