From July 1-4, local law enforcement participated in the special Traffic Enforcement Program, or sTEP wave, to crack down on drunk driving.
The program is through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, which funds overtime for law enforcement over the summer holidays to increase public safety. Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn believes the Fourth of July sTEP wave was successful, though he admits his own officers were fairly tied up with other tasks during the weekend. Because of that, officers only issued four traffic citations during the sTEP wave, and made no arrests for drunk driving.
However, Vaughn believes the knowledge that law enforcement is increasing their presence over the holidays can be enough to keep the roads safe.
“You know, we always try to keep those fatalities down throughout the state. But a lot of times what we see during these holidays and that type, when we put the information out and people know that they’re going to out and maybe have a drink or something like that, a lot of times fortunately we have somebody that steps up and says, ‘Hey, I shouldn’t be driving today, let’s make a designated driver today, or let’s stay put.’ And so, we appreciate those efforts on their part, too.”
The next sTEP wave will take place over Labor Day weekend, though Vaughn is unsure what the focus will be. To hear more from Vaughn, listen to last Wednesday’s Perry Fareway Let’s Talk Dallas County program at RaccoonValleyRadio.com.