Poor choices behind the wheel result in tragedy on California’s roadways

The results of the California Highway Patrol’s recent Independence Day Maximum Enforcement Period are a sobering reminder of the consequences resulting from unsafe driving behaviors.

Sixty-eight people were killed in crashes throughout the state during the Independence Day MEP, which began at 6:01 p.m. Friday, June 30, and concluded at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4.  Tragically, nearly half of the total number of vehicle occupants who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt.

With unsafe speed being the number one contributor to crashes in California, the CHP placed a special emphasis on its enforcement during the recent MEP.  CHP officers issued more than 9,700 speed citations throughout the long Independence Day weekend.

Additionally, impaired drivers were removed from California’s roadways at an alarming rate during the holiday enforcement effort.  CHP officers made 1,224 arrests for driving under the influence, which is an average of one DUI arrest every five minutes.

“The results of this MEP are concerning and reinforce the need for responsible behavior behind the wheel,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.  “All of these deaths were preventable, and the loved ones they leave behind will be forever impacted.  Traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility, and these statistics show us how much work there is still to be done.  The CHP is committed to making California’s roadways safer for all who use them.”

To help protect those who are traveling on California’s roadways during the holidays, the CHP implements six MEPs per year.

The next MEP is scheduled for Labor Day weekend.  Throughout the holiday weekend, all available uniformed members of the Department will be on patrol to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior, and, when necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.

Keep yourself and others who are on the road safe by buckling up, driving at a speed safe for conditions, avoid distractions behind the wheel, and always designating a sober driver.

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