CHP reminds holiday travelers to buckle up

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the California Highway Patrol continues to encourage essential travel only and physical distancing for all Californians.  However, those who do plan to travel should contact the county or state of their destination for information on any local restrictions or directions that may exist for those outside the area.  With the potential of holiday travel, the CHP will conduct its annual Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period.

“No matter what else changes in our world, the people of California can always count on the CHP to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “We will continue to enforce the traffic laws, help motorists who are in trouble, and educate people about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.”

The focus of the Memorial Day MEP, which runs from 6 p.m. Friday, May 22, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 25, is seat belt usage. During the 2019 Memorial Day MEP, 34 people died in traffic collisions in California. Of the 21 vehicle occupants killed in CHP jurisdiction, 10 were not wearing seat belts. The 2019 MEP also recorded 1,099 arrests by CHP officers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

During the state’s stay-at-home order, California roads have seen much less traffic, but many more instances of excessive speeding.

“The rules still apply, no matter how little traffic there may be,” Stanley cautioned. “Obey the speed limit, fasten your seat belt, drive sober, and put down your phone.”

Motorists are also reminded to protect child passengers by using age-appropriate child safety seats, whether a safety seat or booster seat.  The law requires that children under age 8 ride in the back seat and that children under age 2 be secured in a rear-facing child passenger safety seat.