Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX - DPS urges safe driving speeds during holidays

Texas DPS urges safe driving speeds during holidays
Published: December 14, 2009 11:57 pm

By Nathan Straus


Texas Department of Public Safety officials are asking local residents to use plenty of caution when on the road during this holiday season.

Special care must be taken when on a wet or icy highway and in the dark, the officials said.

Patrick Dark, a DPS sergeant based in Jacksonville, advised travelers to check their local forecasts before moving out.

“Give yourself plenty of time so you’re not rushed,” Dark said. “There will be traffic, so be observant not only to what you’re doing but to what everyone around you is doing.”

Dark said Jacksonville and the East Texas region has recently experienced a great deal of rain and may even have a rare holiday ice.

“If it does ice, I would suggest getting out only if you have to,” he said. “If it’s raining, drive at least 20 under the posted speed limit. It doesn’t take a whole lot to hydroplane depending on your tires.”

Tela Mange, the spokeswoman for the DPS in Austin, said people should definitely slow down on the road.

“They drive too fast,” she said.

Mange said DPS will have all available troopers out during the holidays looking for intoxicated drivers, speeders and occupants without seat belts. She also advised drivers to travel courteously.

“Stay off the cell phone and don’t text,” Mange said.

Another factor in road safety is car maintenance, she sad.

“If you’re able to prevent your car from breaking down, it’s a good idea to do so,” Mange said.

Dark said a little patience will go a long way toward keeping families safe on the roads.