Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally one of the busiest travel times in America, can also be one of the deadliest. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will have all available officers on patrol during a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) to help avoid tragedies for California motorists.
In 2014, over the Thanksgiving weekend, 45 people died in collisions on California roadways – a 36 percent increase from the same period in 2013. In addition, the CHP arrested almost 1,000 people for driving under the influence.
“Having a safe Thanksgiving drive this year – and being here to enjoy next Thanksgiving – can be as simple as buckling up,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Nearly half the people who died in the CHP’s jurisdiction over Thanksgiving last year were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.”
The MEP will begin Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Nov. 29, at 11:59 p.m. During the MEP, CHP officers will not only be enforcing the law, but also assisting motorists.
“Buckling up, avoiding distracted driving, traveling at a safe speed, designating a sober driver – all are especially important during the holidays,” Commissioner Farrow said. “During the MEP, our officers will emphasize education and enforcement throughout the state to ensure everyone can enjoy their holiday.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges “Buckle Up America – Every Trip. Every Time.” Nationwide, more than half the drivers and passengers killed in crashes are not wearing seat belts. The NHTSA estimates that nationally, seat belts saved the lives of 12,854 passenger vehicle occupants in 2013.