Special to the Bulletin

All available Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will be on patrol during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in an effort to make the roads safer for all travelers, officials said.

DPS troopers will be particularly on the lookout for drunk drivers, speeders and seat belt violators from Saturday, Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 25, and again on Monday, Dec. 31 through Tuesday, Jan. 1, officials said Thursday. DPS is especially concerned about drinking and driving during the holidays.

During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays last year, DPS troopers made 1,253 DWI arrests and issued 27,032 speeding tickets and 1,183 seat belt citations, according the state office.

In addition, troopers issued 1,326 tickets for child safety seat violations. Those numbers do not include citations written by other law enforcement agencies.

“Your chances of getting arrested for DWI or receiving a traffic citation nearly doubles during increased enforcement periods like Operation Holiday,” DPS Director Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr. said. “Traffic crash death notifications are never easy, but they are even more difficult during the holidays. Our hope is that our efforts, combined with other law enforcement across the state, will save some people from needless traffic deaths during the holiday season.”

Highway Patrol troopers ask Texans to remember the following driving safety tips:

Slow down. Speed is the number one killer on Texas roads. Don’t drink and drive; get a designated driver. Buckle up everyone in the vehicle. Keep cell phone chatter to a minimum. Drive with courtesy; it’s contagious.