It appears that winter has finally arrived in Texas, and, as luck would have it, it’s just in time for spring break. The natural inclination for college students is to flit down to Mexico, but the Texas Department of Public Safety released a special message for all those hoping to travel south of the border: DON’T.
This isn’t the first time Texans have heard this message. In 2010 DPS director Steven C. McCraw urged parents to keep their children from heading to Mexico “because their safety cannot be guaranteed,” and the department has issued a similar warning ever since. This year, safety officials have cited the “unpredictable nature of cartel violence” as reason to stay away:
DPS urges Texans to avoid travel to Mexico. The Mexican government has made great strides battling the cartels, and the department commends their continued commitment to that effort. DPS also has a responsibility to inform the public about safety and travel risks and threats, and based on the unpredictable nature of cartel violence and other criminal elements, the department urges individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.
There are local beach alternatives, most (in)famously South Padre Island, which Texas Monthly’s resident travel expert, The Wanderer, described as having its own kind of “charm” though the Gulf Coast destination also has another, well, slightly tackier reputation.
Thousands of people will travel for the week-long holiday, and no matter where they end up, they should heed the “Safety Tips for Texans” DPS outlined, including suggestions like “Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas,” and to “eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.” And, of course, don’t drink and drive, a crucial message that bears repeating considering Texas has seen double-digit percent increases in DUI-related fatalities during spring break.