As millions of motorists prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, the California Highway Patrol is preparing for one of the busiest — and often deadliest — travel weekends in America.
In response, the CHP is expected to put into action its Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), deploying all available officers through the holiday weekend
The CHP, in a news release announcing the stepped-up enforcement campaign, noted: “Unfortunately, in the past,Thanksgiving has also been one of the deadlier holidays on our roadways.”
The enforcement exercise is scheduled to begin at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.
While it’s being carried out, CHP officers plan to educate motorists and enforce traffic safety laws throughout the state to ensure everyone has a safe holiday.
Officers are expected to actively look for unsafe driving practices, including impaired or distracted driving, unsafe speed, and vehicle occupants who fail to buckle up.
“Holiday travel can be stressful. By putting some simple safety measures in place, motorists can help keep themselves and others safe on the road this weekend,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley was quoted as saying in Monday’s news release.
“Most important, before you head out, ensure everyone inside the vehicle has their seat belt on,and if there are children along for the ride, check that they are secure in the back seat in the appropriate child safety seat,” Stanley said in the release.
According to the CHP’s MEP data, 59 people were killed in collisions in California during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Among the 42 vehicle occupants killed in collisions within CHP jurisdiction, 43% of those, or 18 people, were not wearing a seat belt.
Research continues to show that wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest things people can do to stay safe when traveling in a vehicle, according to the CHP.
During last Thanksgiving’s 102-hour MEP, CHP officers made 931 arrests for driving under the influence.