SACRAMENTO – California Highway Patrol officers across the state will be giving up time with their families this Christmas to help ensure that your holidays are not marred by tragedy.
The CHP’s wish this holiday season is for everyone to stay safe during their travels. They remind drivers to follow the posted speed limit, buckle up, avoid distractions while driving, and always plan to have a sober driver behind the wheel.
The CHP will be out in force during the Christmas Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), starting at 6:01 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27. The focus of this holiday MEP is speed limit enforcement; however, CHP officers and drug recognition experts will be watching for all signs of impaired driving as well as assisting motorists wherever needed.
“The Christmas holiday is a time for family and friends to get together, and we want to make sure everyone arrives safely at their destinations,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Drivers are reminded to make wise decisions ahead of time for their own safety and the safety of others sharing the roadways with them.”
During the 2014 Christmas Holiday MEP, which was 24 hours longer than the 2015 MEP will be, 42 people died on California’s roadways. More than half of those who died in the CHP’s jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts. The CHP made nearly 1,000 arrests for driving under the influence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls drunk driving an epidemic in this nation. The NHTSA reports that 32,719 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, and nearly one-third (10,076) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.
“Travel at a safe speed, wear your seat belt, and designate a sober driver if your holiday plans include alcohol,” Commissioner Farrow emphasized. “These choices could save your life or the life of someone you love behind the wheel.”
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.