AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With Thanksgiving right around the corner, law enforcement is encouraging drivers to make safety a top priority this holiday, as increased travel can present additional challenges for drivers.
According to Priceline, the most popular departure date for Thanksgiving weekend in 2019 was the preceding Wednesday with most travelers returning the following Sunday.
Texas Department of Public Safety and the Amarillo Police Department said that more officers will be on patrol to make sure everyone remains safe.
Sgt. Cindy Barkley, the Texas Department of Public Safety said even with experts telling people not to travel for Thanksgiving this year due to COVID-19 troopers will still be out in full force.
“Every thanksgiving holiday in the past has always been the busiest travel holiday weekend, and so we anticipate the same every year,” said Sgt. Barkley.
Cpl. Jeb Hilton, with the Amarillo Police Department, said drive defensively because if you get into an accident you are not getting to where you are going to safely.
“We expect a lot more people on the roadways and a lot of the times we see a lot more traffic. Thankfully in Amarillo, we don’t have the congestion as a lot of the other places, but we do have a lot of fatal accidents throughout the year for a city our size. Take a little extra time. Relax, we are all a little stressed, it’s the holidays. Make sure you are getting where you’re are going safely,” said Cpl. Hilton.
Both Texas DPS and APD said they will be looking for drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated, and failing to wear a seat belt.
During DPS’ 2019 enforcement effort, a total of 59,146 warnings and citations were issued, including 6,460 for speeding; 716 for seat belt and child seat violations; last year’s enforcement efforts also resulted in 304 DWI arrests.
Sgt. Barkley said if you are planning a long trip to plan ahead. Check road conditions, check your vehicle condition, and get plenty of rest.
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