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A high volume of crashes along I-35 has DPS cracking down on traffic violations

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 18:26:52-05

BELL COUNTY, TX — The Department of Public Safety is cracking down on traffic violations after a high volume of crashes along a section of I-35.

The area, between Salado and Temple, has law enforcement on alert.

“I-35 is a very heavily traveled highway in the state of Texas,” said Sr. Trooper Kirk Washington.

As the state population continues to grow, the amount of traffic along this main artery also rises.

“On that particular stretch of roadway between Temple and Salado, both north and southbound, in 2019 there’s approximately 447 crashes that we had worked. 943 vehicles involved and almost 1200 people,” said Sgt. Bryan Washko.

25 News tagged along with Sr. Trooper Washington as he patrolled I-35.

In just a matter of minutes, he was able to spot violations.

Washington says this is a chance to educate drivers, and it can also help find what else could be going on behind the wheel.

“We catch our intoxicated drivers, we check for distracted driving, we check for people that are on their cell phones, eating, and yes even reading a book. I’ve seen it all,” said Sgt. Washko.

They also want to remind drivers to move over or slow down when you see officers at work.

“Here in Bell County, in the past two weeks, we’ve had two patrol cars that were struck that had their lights on while working a scene," said Sgt. Washko. "One was in Salado, one was up here in Belton.”

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.

DPS says that's not always the case, which is why they're reminding drivers to slow down, and pay attention when behind the wheel.