SACRAMENTO – Law enforcement is watching roadways closely this time of year, as Thanksgiving is a Maximum Enforcement Period for the California Highway Patrol. The holiday reporting period begins Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Nov. 25 at 11:59 p.m.Officers are hoping this season will be safer than last year.
In 2011, collisions increased significantly during the reporting period, with tragic results. 32 people died in California due to collisions, marking a 52% rise from Thanksgiving 2010. Two-thirds of people killed in collisions within CHP’s jurisdiction last year were not wearing a seat belt, according to a news release from the CHP.
Seat belt infractions are among the most common reasons drivers will be pulled over this week, and not wearing one will greatly increase your chances of encountering a CHP officer.
“By not wearing your seat belt, the risk of death or injury in a collision substantially increases,” says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Not only does the law require everyone inside the vehicle to be properly secured, seat belts are your best line of defense in a collision.”
Texting also remains a serious impairment to safety, along with other bad habits ill-fated drivers employ. The CHP reminds drivers to avoid distracted driving and travel at a speed that is safe for conditions.
A year ago during Thanksgiving, the CHP made 1,475 arrests for driving under the influence. They remind travelers to designate a non-drinking driver for the safety of everyone on the road. The public is encouraged to report unsafe or impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated November 16-25, 2012, as the national “Thanksgiving Holiday Travel, Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.”