Travel

Situated cozily between the cities of San Antonio and Houston with a major thoroughfare basically dissecting the county, traffic in and around Seguin likely will start to pick up in the coming days as travelers hit the roads for the holidays.

Local law enforcement officers are reminding motorists to stay aware of the increased traffic and react or respond accordingly.

“Be careful driving on Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio,” Sgt. Deon Cockrell of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. “The traffic increases during the holidays. You’re going to have to take a little bit more time getting to your destination. So leave a little bit more early. Prepare for the traffic. Make sure you’re safe in your travels from point A to point B. The biggest thing is to get there safety.”

It’s not just I-10 that sees more vehicles, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Lt. Clint Garza. Around the county, State Highway 46 and State Highway 123 can get busier, but Intestate 10 does see a heavier load, he said.

It doesn’t get too crazy but most will notice an increase in traffic volumes, he said. Right about now is when the vehicles begin to pile onto county roads, Garza said.

“The day before the holiday, usually like that Wednesday before Thanksgiving and even this weekend, it can start,” he said. “You’ll start seeing an increase especially on I-10. That Sunday after Thanksgiving you’ll see traffic getting pretty heavy on I-10.”

Deputies will be out on the roads trying to help ensure safety for everyone using them, Garza said. Deputies working normal patrols will be on the lookout for rule breakers, crashes and more, he said.

“They’ll be answering any traffic concerns or any calls that come in regarding reckless drivers,” Garza said. “They’ll also be out looking for reckless drivers and trying to get them handled.”

As with all holidays, families get together and celebrate for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. During those celebrations, some adults choose to drink adult beverages, Garza said.

Some of those who do, don’t think or plan ahead and, inevitably, will drive while intoxicated, he said. GCSO deputies will be on the lookout for those lawbreakers as well, Garza said.

“DWIs will pick up. As much as we put out, ‘people shouldn’t drink and drive,’ they always do,” he said. “That’s one of the things our guys will look out for is impaired drivers. We’re trying to keep everybody safe and the people going to visit with family safe.”

Safety is the goal in Seguin as well, said Seguin Police Department Assistant Chief Rusty Suarez. Drinking and driving is a definite no-no and only takes a little planning and common sense to avoid, he said.

Drivers must be responsible of their actions and do what’s right, Suarez said. They should plan accordingly and be sure to call a friend or family member if they’d had one or more too many, he said.

“If you know you’re going to drink and have a good time, find someone who can drive you there,” Suarez said. “Or make sure you have a back up plan so someone can pick you up if you need it.

“We have Uber and Lyft around here now. Definitely use those services so you’re not visiting us later on.”

Safety isn’t just about driving safely, he said. It does include always being on the defense while operating a vehicle, watching out for the other guy and sharing the roads, Suarez said.

But there’s also safely securing personal property, he said.

With Thanksgiving, a day later comes Black Friday. Then there’s Shop Local Saturday and even Cyber Monday when people make purchases that can be targeted by criminals. Suarez suggests that people here stay safe from becoming victims of theft.

“Traffic is going to pick up that much more,” he said. “If you decide to go out and partake in those activities, always be on the cautious side as to where you place those gifts. Lock it. Take it. Hide it.”

Drivers out shopping should be sure to lock their vehicles. They should take any items of value out of the vehicles when they leave them, Suarez said.

If it is not feasible to take the items, they should hide them inside the vehicles out of sight of opportunistic criminals.

“Don’t leave gifts in your car overnight,” Suarez said. “Don’t leave them where they’re physically seen. Hide it. Put it in the trunk, put it where it’s not visible, put it on the floorboard. Do whatever you can to make it less visible and not as accessible to whoever wants to deprive you.”

Traveling smart is the key to safety, he said. Motorists taking their time and being mindful to arrive at their destination safely and with their property intact is what’s most important, Suarez said.

He also had a special message he wanted to provide for the people of Seguin and Guadalupe County.

“I just want to wish everyone a happy holidays,” Suarez said. “Have a great time but do it responsibly, stay safe and take care of one another.”

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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