For many, Thanksgiving is a time for getting together with friends and loved ones to give thanks. Knowing that the holidays can make for busy conditions on the roadways, the California Highway Patrol is prepared to keep traffic moving and motorists safe throughout the long weekend.
Thanksgiving is a Maximum Enforcement Period for the CHP. The Thanksgiving holiday reporting period begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, and runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.
“Motorists are less likely to encounter one of our officers by simply wearing their seatbelt,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Not only does the law require everyone inside the vehicle to be properly secured, seatbelts are your best line of defense in a collision.”
Collisions increased significantly during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel period. Thirty-two people died on California’s roadways due to collisions; this was a 52 percent increase from Thanksgiving 2010. Additionally, two-thirds of the people killed in collisions within CHP’s jurisdiction last year were not wearing a seatbelt.
“Although the majority of motorists in California are buckling up every time they get into a vehicle, there is still a small portion of the motoring public that need this reminder,” Farrow added. “By not wearing your seatbelt, the risk of death or injury in a collision substantially increases.”
The CHP would also like to remind motorists to avoid distracted driving, travel at a speed that is safe for conditions and also designate a non-drinking driver for the safety of everyone on the road. Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, the CHP made 1,475 arrests for driving under the influence. The public is encouraged to report unsafe or impaired drivers by calling 911.