As the nation observes Memorial Day and honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, travel to gatherings with family and friends will dramatically increase vehicles on roadways during the holiday weekend. In an effort to make sure motorists obey the laws and reach their destinations safely, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will enact a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).
With seat belt safety the primary focus, the Memorial Day MEP will run from 6 p.m. Friday, May 27, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 30. CHP officers will be patrolling throughout the state, monitoring the roadways for seat belt violations, distracted drivers, speeders, and anyone suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Memorial Day should be a time for honoring our fallen heroes and spending time with loved ones,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “It should never be marked by tragedy caused by car crashes. Please buckle up, follow all traffic laws, and arrive at your destination safely.”
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all vehicle occupants killed in crashes within CHP jurisdiction last Memorial Day were not wearing a seat belt. In all, 35 people died in crashes during the 78-hour MEP in California. Additionally, CHP officers made 979 arrests throughout the state for driving under the influence.
The CHP’s Memorial Day MEP coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ongoing “Click it or Ticket” seat belt campaign, which continues through June 5.
The CHP also reminds drivers to protect child passengers by placing them in age-appropriate child safety seats. Whether it is a harnessed safety seat or a booster, the law requires children under 8 be secured in the backseat. Infants and children under 2 should remain rear facing in their car seat. To have a child safety seat technician properly install or check your child safety seat, visit https://www.chp.ca.gov/find-an-office and schedule an appointment at your local CHP Area office.