CHP announces stepped-up enforcement during Thanksgiving

The California Highway Patrol runs a sobriety checkpoint on The Old Road in August 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

As commuters have been preparing for one of the busiest travel times of the year, so have the members of Santa Clarita law enforcement who are stepping up their patrols during what they call a holiday “maximum enforcement period.”

In an MEP that begins at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, CHP officers are on the lookout for unsafe driving practices, especially those drivers who are behind the wheel while under the influence, according to Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the CHP Newhall office.

“We know that Thanksgiving is the most traveled day of the year,” said Greengard. “With added traffic comes more congestion and traffic violations, speed, unbuckled seat belts, cell phones, and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drugs.”

In order to combat the added risk on the roads during Thanksgiving weekend, CHP officials across the state and in Santa Clarita are going to be out on highways with an increased number of vehicles and officers.

“We will be out with a higher number of officers this long weekend to assist the motoring public and to enforce the laws,” said Greengard.

According to statistics released by the CHP state office, 2017 saw 5.37 million drivers commuting for the holiday weekend, 46 of whom were killed in the CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2017 Thanksgiving MEP.

The total number of drivers on the roads is expected to increase once again this year, according to officials.

“The California Highway Patrol wants everyone to enjoy responsibly, and please give yourself added time to get to your destination safely,” said Greengard.

The enforcement period is expected to be in effect until Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

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