CHP to serve up maximum enforcement for Thanksgiving
The Porterville-area California Highway Patrol will be participating in a statewide maximum enforcement period over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“This entails increased patrol on Highway 65 and Highway 190 and throughout the county-portions of our area,” CHP Officer Mike Smith said Monday.
Smith said officers will be looking for drunken drivers, as well as seat belt and speeding violations.
The reporting period begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
“Motorists are less likely to encounter one of our officers by simply wearing their seat belt,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a news release issued Monday. “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.”
According to the CHP, collisions increased significantly during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel period. The CHP reports that 32 people lost their lives on state roadways due to a collision; a 52% increase from Thanksgiving 2010. Additionally, two-thirds of the people killed in collisions within CHP’s jurisdiction last year were not wearing a seat belt.
“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 seat belt, the risk of death or injury in a collision substantially increases.”
The CHP also reminds motorists to avoid distracted driving, to 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 9-1-1.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated Nov. 16 to 25 as the national “Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Buckle Up, Every Trip, Every Time” period.
“We understand it’s a holiday weekend and people are going to be traveling, so be safe out there. We’re going to have increased patrols looking for violations, such as drunk driving, so always make sure you designate before you celebrate,” Smith said.