Don’t drink and drive, speed or text — but keep your seatbelt fastened — while driving in Riverside County or anywhere else this Memorial Day weekend, the California Highway Patrol warned Wednesday.
Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, the CHP will begin a statewide “maximum enforcement period,” during which all available officers hit the streets to catch DUI offenders and other traffic violators. The holiday weekend operation will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Officers from the Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula CHP stations will patrol Inland Empire freeways, highways and unincorporated roads during the crackdown, which this year will underscore seatbelt safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
“It only takes two seconds to buckle up,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Wearing a seatbelt is such a simple task to keep you and your passengers safe. Remember, it is also the law.”
Of the 45 people killed in collisions within CHP jurisdictions during the 2017 Memorial Day period, 70 percent — 32 victims — were not wearing any type of safety restraint, according to the agency.
Figures showed last year’s Memorial Day weekend MEP netted 921 DUI arrests statewide, representing a roughly 14 percent drop compared to the prior year’s effort.
“Too many lives are lost every year due to preventable acts,” Stanley said. “Law enforcement personnel see the tragic consequences too frequently of not buckling up, or of driving impaired or distracted. These are all avoidable.”
The CHP campaign will coincide with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols planned in a number of municipalities throughout Riverside County this weekend.