EAST TEXAS (KTRE) – The Fourth of July can be one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to traffic accidents. This holiday weekend law enforcement agencies across East Texas will be out in full force making sure motorists are obeying the law.
The intensified traffic watch began early Friday morning. Officers are stepping up patrols, pulling over drivers and issuing tickets to violators. "All available troopers will be out working the road looking for hazardous violations," according to Lufkin DPS Trooper, Greg Sanches.
It doesn't end with state troopers, Lufkin police say they'll have the whole traffic enforcement unit out. "The accidents always increase on the holiday weekends. That's what happens with the increased traffic flow. We have numerous officers present. Of course, our citations always increase too," Corporal David Garza with Lufkin Police Department Traffic Enforcement said.
They're not just targeting speeding motorists, they are also on the lookout for drunk and distracted drivers. "In the past, Fourth of July has been some really deadly times," Sanches said.
More traffic means more officers hitting the pavement with new laws to enforce. "All people in the car have to wear their seatbelt and any child under 8 has to be in some type of child seat unless the child is 4'9". Another thing is all young people under 18 cannot use cell phones or text while driving," Sanches said.
As for drunk and buzzed driving, it's no refusal weekend. "We're not going to mess around, and if you have a refusal, we'll probably get a search warrant and get your blood anyway," Garza said.
Both DPS and LPD say they need your help. They encourage you to report impaired drivers. "If you don't want to be stopped, don't drink and get behind the wheel."
"The best policy is not taking a chance in hurting or killing somebody, or getting arrested for DWI. Use a designated driver, or plan to stay where you are going to party," Sanches said.
The average fine for most traffic violations is 500 dollars.