The California Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to obey the posted speed limits as the department prepares to launch their Christmas Day Maximum Enforcement Period.
The CHP will be out in force starting at 6:01 p.m. on Thursday and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. The focus of this holiday operation 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 Maximum Enforcement Period, which was 24 hours longer than the 2015 operation will be, 42 people died on California’s roadways. More than half of the 24 people 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 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."