Drivers looking to get out of town for the Fourth of July may notice an increased number of Texas state troopers lining the highways and back roads.
Beginning today, troopers will begin a 10-day patrol operation designed to combat what is the most deadly week for driving in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
The Texas Department of Public Safety will have overtime patrol shifts for troopers dedicated to finding and arresting drunk drivers, Senior Trooper Harpin Myers said. All patrols are funded by grants from TxDOT.
“We’re trying to make sure everyone gets from point A to point B successfully,” Myers said.
The additional patrol will run through July 7. During the same period in 2012, troopers arrested 1,284 for driving while intoxicated. They also issued thousands of citations, including 13,700 speeding tickets and 2,200 seat belt infractions.
The increased enforcement led to 750 fugitive arrests and 580 felony arrests, Myers said.
Large portions of Interstate 35 in and around Bell County remain under construction, along with U.S. Highway 190 and State Highway 195. Myers urged drivers to be mindful of construction zones, which have decreased speed limits.
“There will be some construction zones where people will be working there during the holiday period,” he said.
He also asked that drivers either slow down or switch lanes if they encounter a law enforcement vehicle pulled over on the highway.
“We want to make it home, too,” Myers said.