The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans to make safety a top priority this spring break. Increased traffic often accompanies spring break, and drivers are urged to obey all traffic laws and use extra caution when driving over the next few weeks. DPS Troopers and various local law enforcement across Texas will be enhancing enforcement efforts during spring break, watching for speeders, drunk drivers and seat-belt violators.
“Safety is our top priority at DPS, and we are asking the public to do their part by driving responsibly, obeying the laws and monitoring road conditions during their spring break travels,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS will do our part to enhance safety by patrolling the roadways to identify and remove dangerous drivers.”
DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during spring break:
- Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol.
- Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.
- Slow down — especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using a portable wireless device to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
- If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize the impact on traffic. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane not only increases traffic congestion, but it also leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm and chance for a secondary collision. On some highways, it is actually a violation of the law to not move your vehicle over when it is safe to do so.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Don’t drive fatigued — allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- If you see a road hazard or if you observe anything suspicious, report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- On multi-lane roadways, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to only use the left lane for passing (when posted).
- Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.
- Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions/closings in Texas, visit Drive Texas.
- U.S. citizens traveling abroad should always check the U.S. Department of State website for the latest security information related to their travel destination. Those traveling out of the country can also register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program online.
Additionally, while spring break is a great time to check things off the to-do list — like conducting driver license (DL) transactions — DPS is reminding residents that many Texans can skip the trip to an office altogether by taking care of business online, by phone or by mail. These options are particularly convenient during spring break, which can actually be one of the busiest times at Texas DL offices. Are you eligible to save time and skip the trip? Find out now by visiting Texas.gov.
DPS offers these additional tips to increase convenience for all driver license customers across the state:
- High-capacity DL MegaCenters are available in major metropolitan areas to better serve customers.
- Many DL offices utilize a queuing system to provide customers with the convenient option of reserving a spot in line through the DPS website before going to the office. For a list of the high-capacity MegaCenters, as well as the specific DL offices that offer the “Get in Line, Online” feature, visit the DPS website.
- In many offices, you can schedule a driving test online three months in advance. Customers are urged to plan ahead and not delay scheduling a driving appointment.
- Another underutilized option available to customers is to renew their DL or ID card early. You can renew up to two years in advance, and renewing early does not impact the expiration date. If an office visit is required, renewing early allows customers to choose a convenient time that best fits their schedule and avoids the busiest times at the DL office.
- Mondays and Fridays tend to be the busiest days, as well as after holidays. Overall, summer is the busiest time of the year. Try to plan your visit around these high-volume times, if possible.
- Before you go to the office, make sure you have all the proper documentation, including documents needed for residency requirements.
Visit DPS’ online services for more information.