It’s the time of year for turkey, all of the trimmings, desserts and celebrating with loves ones and friends. In keeping with its mission of saving lives, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is reminding motorists the Thanksgiving holiday is also a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).
The CHP’s holiday enforcement effort begins Wednesday, November 24 at 6 p.m. and continues through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, November 28. Throughout the MEP all available officers will be looking for motorists who are a danger to themselves or others on our state’s roadways.
“During the holiday season many people are in a hurry and eager to get to their destination,” said Commissioner Joe Farrow. “It’s important to remember that safety should never take a back seat; be safe, pay attention to the road, never drink and drive and always buckle up.”
Last year during CHP’s Thanksgiving holiday enforcement effort, 37 people were killed in collisions statewide; this represents a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Among the 19 vehicle occupants who were killed in CHP jurisdiction, 26 percent were not wearing seat belts. The Thanksgiving MEP coincides with the statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign which runs through November 29 and includes more than 150 law enforcement agencies in California.
“Seat belts save lives, and the majority of motorists in this state are buckling up,” said Commissioner Farrow. “However, there’s a small percentage who aren’t securing themselves or their child passengers inside their vehicle, and they’re putting lives at risk.”
In addition to motorists who fail to buckle up or drive at a safe speed, officers will be seeking to remove impaired drivers from the roadways. Last year during the Thanksgiving MEP, CHP officers made 1,461 arrests for driving under the influence.
“Start the holiday off right; designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time and always wear you seat belt,” added Commissioner Farrow.
With the Christmas and New Year’s holiday right around the corner, the CHP is planning for similar maximum enforcement efforts next moth.