Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally one of the busiest travel times in America, can also be one of the deadliest.
The California Highway Patrol will have all available officers on patrol during a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, and continues through Sunday, Nov. 29, at 11:59 p.m., the agency announced.
During the MEP, CHP officers will be enforcing the law and assisting motorists.
“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 stated. “Nearly half the people who died in the CHP’s jurisdiction over Thanksgiving last year were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.”
In 2014, 45 people died in collisions on California roadways over the Thanksgiving weekend – a 36 percent increase from the same period in 2013. In addition, the CHP arrested nearly 1,000 people for driving under the influence.
“During the MEP, our officers will emphasize education and enforcement throughout the state to ensure everyone can enjoy their holiday,” Farrow added.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, nationally, seat belts saved the lives of 12,854 passenger vehicle occupants in 2013.
[Information via news release from the California Highway Patrol.]