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Labor Day weekend travel begins Thursday

Texas Highway Patrol will be out on the roads for emphasis patrols

TEMPLE, Texas — The end of summer is here and for many Texans, they will be hitting the roads this Labor Day Weekend to escape from reality at least one more time.

In a release to 6 News Wednesday, DPS said during the 2020 Labor Day holiday, Troopers issued 71,544 citations and warnings. This included 9,239 citations for speeding; 1,088 seat belt and child safety restraint citations; 1,419 citations for no insurance; and 534 warnings and citations for Move Over, Slow Down violations. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 402 DWI arrests, 802 felony arrests and 200 fugitive arrests.

“DPS is reminding all drivers that safety always comes first,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “While long weekends are a time to get out and enjoy, we all need to do our part to keep roads safe, and that is why Troopers will be out ensuring everyone is following the traffic laws.”

Before you hit the road, there are a few things that you should get taken care of with your vehicle before you hit the road, according to Kelley Blue Book:

  • Check for Recalls
    • Millions of Americans are driving cars that may have safety recalls – you should check in and make sure your car is not on the list.
  • Service Your Vehicle
    • Keeping up with maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns later. Is it time for coolant flushes, tire rotations, changing the oil, tire tread and don’t forget to look at the battery as well.
  • Know Your Car
    • If you’re renting, pick up the car at least a few hours before the road trip to familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Think of all the different types of driver assists and safety features you can use.
  • Have a Plan
    • Check road conditions, weather, and traffic so that you know what you’re getting into.
  • Have A Safety Kit
    • Cell phone chargers, first aid kits, flashlights, flares, jumper cables and a basic tool repair kit is also essential and don’t forget to check for a spare tire and a jack just in case.

KBB also offered some advice on how the safest ways to travel, including some statistics to back that up.

  • Drive at Non-Peak Times
    • Worst travel times are between 4pm and 6pm Thursday night.
  • Limit Nighttime Driving
    • In 2017, the latest data found, 79% of labor day weekend traffic fatalities happened at night
  • Passengers Should Handle Entertainment and Apps
    • Distracted driving can lead to accidents and leave your hands on the wheel
  • Take Frequent Breaks
    • The best way to avoid feeling tired behind the wheel is to give yourself a regular change of scenery, and there’s no better way to do that than pulling over every few hours and stretching your legs.
  • Share the Driving Load
    • Driving is stressful so you should allow other qualified drivers to help ease the burden
  • Buckle Up
    • It’s pretty easy to do to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • Pack a Mask
    • Keep a mask on hand just in case you go to a place with a mask mandate you are unfamiliar with

The Texas Highway Patrol will be increasing enforcement from Sept. 3 through Sept. 6, looking for people not wearing their seat belts, speeders, people driving while intoxicated and drivers who fail to follow the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law, among other traffic violations.