The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is joining several other state highway patrol agencies across the nation to participate in two separate traffic safety challenges during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Keeping in line with the CHP’s mission of saving lives, both campaigns have set a goal of zero fatalities during the five-day period.
The first of two campaigns beginning Wednesday, Nov. 27, is the “Interstate 5 Challenge.” The five-day lifesaving traffic safety effort is a joint endeavor between the CHP, Oregon State Police, and the Washington State Patrol. The focus throughout the “Arrive Alive on I-5” campaign will be on seat belt usage, driving under the influence, speed, and aggressive driving.
Interstate 5 (I-5) is the main Interstate Highway on the West Coast. Beginning in San Diego County, I-5 links several major California cities and stretches through 17 of the state’s counties. More than 1,300 miles in length, I-5 continues into Oregon and Washington and connects all three state’s Capital cities. According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWTRS), I-5 averages more than 14,000 collisions annually. Preliminary SWITRS data from 2012 indicates at least 92 people were killed in collisions on I-5 in California.
The second campaign, the “I-40 Challenge,” is a two-day campaign involving law enforcement agencies serving Interstate 40 (I-40) from California to North Carolina. In California 155 miles of I-40 stretches from Needles to Barstow. This stretch of highway through California averages more than 200 collisions annually. Preliminary SWITRS data from 2012 indicates at least 10 people were killed in collisions on I-40 in California.
“Partnering with our colleagues throughout the nation in previous challenge campaigns was successful in increasing awareness of our focus on traffic safety,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “We are determined to achieve our goals on I-5 and I-40 by continuing to educate motorists about the primary causes of traffic collisions and encouraging safe driving behaviors.”
Each of the law enforcement agencies involved in the challenges is working to ensure motorists experience the safest possible Thanksgiving travel period. Both education and enforcement campaigns conclude on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, and coincide with the CHP’s Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period.
“A majority of collisions and roadway deaths are preventable if motorists follow basic traffic safety rules,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Enjoy the holidays but remember: always wear a seat belt, drive at a speed safe for roadway conditions, eliminate distractions while driving, and always designate a sober driver.”
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.