Motorists heading out to join friends and family or have other sorts of fun during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend need to remember to drive sober and safely — or there could be consequences, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The agency will initiate its annual Thanksgiving “maximum enforcement period” today at 6 p.m., when all available officers deploy to catch DUI offenders, speeders and other traffic violators.
The effort will continue until 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.
During last year’s Thanksgiving maximum enforcement campaign, the CHP arrested nearly 1,000 people statewide for suspected DUI, about 16 percent fewer than the year before.
A total of 45 people died in collisions on roads and highways under the CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend. That represented a 36 percent jump from the prior year, said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
“Having a safe Thanksgiving drive this year — and being here to enjoy next Thanksgiving — can be as simple as buckling up,” 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 maximum enforcement period coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Buckle Up America — Every Trip, Every Time,” campaign, emphasizing seat belt safety.
“Buckling up, avoiding distracted driving, traveling at a safe speed, designating a sober driver — all are especially important during the holidays,” Farrow said.
—City News Service