By Jamie Coffee, Information Officer II, California Highway Patrol
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As Californians plan for the Thanksgiving holiday during the ongoing pandemic, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds everyone the rules of driving safety are just as crucial as ever.
To encourage safe travel, the CHP will enact a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. During the MEP, CHP officers will be actively looking for unsafe driving practices as well as helping motorists in need.
“This year has presented us with many unforeseen challenges, but safety is still our priority,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “If you choose to travel this Thanksgiving weekend, our goal is to help motorists arrive at their destination without incident.”
Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic may be a bit lighter, but this is not an invitation to speed to your destination. The rules of the road still apply, and motorists should avoid driving tired, impaired, or distracted. Additionally, in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission, Governor Gavin Newsom has instituted a limited stay at home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a travel advisory, encouraging people to only go about essential activities during those hours and to self-quarantine for 14 days if they are arriving from another state or country.
Those who must be on the road, remember to buckle up. Proper seat belt use is the single most effective way to save a life in the event of a crash. When you are traveling for the holiday, or any time of the year, make sure everyone in the vehicle is safely secured before even starting the car, and that includes children being in the correct child safety seats.
During the 2019 Thanksgiving MEP, 42 people died on California roadways. Of the 27 who died within CHP jurisdiction, 11 were not wearing seat belts. The CHP also made 867 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.