While Texans take to the roadways to travel during the Memorial Day weekend, the Texas Department of Public Safety is increasing patrols to keep travelers safe.

The department is increasing patrols Friday through Monday statewide looking for drunken drivers, speeding, seat belt and other traffic violations.

“Memorial Day is a time of reverence and remembrance for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. DPS encourages Texans to mark the holiday responsibly by adhering to safe driving practices and not by drinking and driving,” said Steven McCraw, DPS director, in a news release. “Troopers will be out in force and are prepared to issue tickets to drivers disobeying traffic laws in an effort to keep our roadways safe.”

McCraw said motorists can increase their safety while traveling by reducing speed, eliminating distractions and wearing a seat belt. According to GasBuddy.com, nationwide gas prices are the same ahead of Memorial Day weekend as they were in 2012 and 2013. The average price of gas nationwide is expected to be between $3.60 and $3.64 per gallon.

According to AAA, Texans can expect to pay about $3.45 at the pump this weekend — 2 cents higher per gallon than last week. According to the AAA report, 3 million Texans are expected to travel 50 miles or more today through Monday.

“It is common to see prices increase a little before the start of a major holiday travel weekend,” said Doug Shupe, a AAA spokesman. “Despite the slight increase, many people have already made plans and budgets are set. So, it is unlikely that gas prices will have a significant affect on travel plans.”

Contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7555

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