Many Californians are looking forward to the three-day weekend this year to enjoy Independence Day, as is the case with all major holidays, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is urging motorists to slow down and enjoy it responsibly.
Beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, July 1, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4, the CHP will observe a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) focused on speed enforcement. To keep the roadways safe for everyone, all available officers will be watching for motorists who are speeding, distracted, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.
“Saving lives is always the first concern for our officers,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Motorists will help make everyone’s holiday safer by driving sober, fastening their seat belts, and obeying the speed limits.”
During the 2015 Independence Day Maximum Enforcement Period, 26 people were killed on California roadways. Two of those fatalities occurred due to unsafe speed. In addition, another 339 individuals were injured during the MEP due to unsafe speed.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Of those who died in CHP jurisdiction in 2015, 38 percent were not wearing seat belts.
“Our officers would rather provide education and other aid to motorists than write tickets,” Commissioner Farrow said. “However, they will be looking for anyone who is driving impaired and posing a danger on the roadways.”
During last year’s Independence Day weekend, the CHP made 930 DUI arrests within a 54-hour period. To assist officers in keeping the roadways safe, motorists are also encouraged to report suspected drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1. Be prepared to provide a description of the vehicle, location, and direction of travel.