Many Texans are expected to be on the road this week, traveling to hunting leases or football games if not visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving. Invariably, people will be in a hurry. Even so, a traffic or hunting accident is the quickest way to ruin the holiday spirit.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has announced its troopers will be using all available personnel to patrol for speeders, drunk driving and vehicle occupants who are not properly secured by safety restraints. Even if you arenít involved in an accident, being stopped for a traffic violation will put a damper on the festivities, as well.

During the Wednesday through Sunday Thanksgiving period in 2008, DPS troopers wrote 5,322 citations for speeding and made 252 arrests for driving while intoxicated. They also issued 562 citations for seat belt violations and 257 for child restraint violations.

In the Brownwood area especially, law enforcement officers are placing or putting a special emphasis on DWI offenders throughout the extended holiday season. And statewide, troopers are participating in a national campaign Ė Operation CARE, Combined Accident Reduction Effort Ė along Interstate highways.

Despite such enforcement, and even when caution is used, tragic accidents can happen. One in Brown County took a personís life on Tuesday. But there are proven ways to minimize that risk. Be patient. Be cautious. Be sober. And buckle up. Along with Grandmaís secret recipe for turkey and dressing, thatís the formula for a truly happy Thanksgiving.

Brownwood Bulletin