Sheriff will step up patrols this week

To minimize an expected increase in accidents due to more motorists on the highways this 4th of July holiday, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office will have more traffic deputies patrolling Hwy 377, State Hwy 121, FM 455, U.S. 380, and I-35 from July 3 through July 5.

All available units will be on the road, and will be on the alert for drivers who are drunk or have been using drugs, speeders, and seatbelt and child restraint violations, according to Tom Reedy with the Sheriff’s Office.

The increased Denton County patrols are part of a statewide enforcement effort to reduce accidents, injuries and deaths caused by impaired drivers.

Overtime hours will be paid for by a state grant from the Texas Department of Transportation’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). The grant runs from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.

Patrol Captain Mike Caley said the increased law enforcement presence will prevent accidents and save lives and property.

“Enforcement of the law is the first rule of road safety,” he said. “In the overwhelming majority of highway accidents, somebody broke the law and caused a needless tragedy. Our job this Independence Day holiday is to prevent as many of those as we can, and putting more deputies on the road will help us be more effective.”

Motorists also need to remember to slow down or move over when they see an emergency vehicle stopped on a highway, Captain Caley said. The Texas “Move Over Law” requires drivers who are nearing emergency vehicles to either slow down or change lanes.

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