Drive safe, drive sober this holiday weekend

Wherever people choose to observe Independence Day, they can expect the California Highway Patrol to be out in force for a Maximum Enforcement Period from 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3, to midnight, Sunday, July 5.

As California gradually reopens, many people will be eager to celebrate the holiday weekend with family and friends.  To help reduce the risk and slow the spread of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health is urging the public to avoid traveling long distances for vacations or pleasure as much as possible.  However, if you decide to leave home, take steps to keep everyone safe like wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and washing hands frequently.

“Should the upcoming weekend include a road trip, stay safe and healthy with a few additional precautions,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley.  “Obeying speed limits, buckling up, and not driving impaired or distracted will be more important than ever.”

Traffic has been lighter on California roadways the past few months, which has resulted in an increase in citations for excessive speed.  Motorists are encouraged to take their time this holiday weekend and arrive safely at their destination.  During the recent Memorial Day MEP, CHP officers issued 458 citations for speeding in excess of 100 mph, which is a 173 percent increase from the same period in 2019.

The 2019 Independence Day MEP was 4 ¼ days, which was two days longer than the upcoming MEP.  During that 102-hour enforcement effort, 36 people lost their lives in traffic crashes, 21 within CHP jurisdiction.  Of those 21 individuals, 11 were not wearing seat belts.  Additionally, CHP officers made 1,317 arrests for driving under the influence.

“However you choose to celebrate the weekend, do it without putting yourself or others at risk,” added Commissioner Stanley.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of safety, service and security.