Tuesday, 21 May 2024

CHP urges motorists to plan ahead for holiday travel

LAKE COUNTY – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds motorists to plan ahead this holiday and help make the state’s roads a safer place.


“Thanksgiving always produces a high volume of traffic; therefore, the CHP intends to provide as much visibility as possible in order to ensure a safe holiday weekend,” said CHP Lt. Mark Loveless, commander of the Clear Lake Area office.


The official Thanksgiving holiday driving period begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, and continues through midnight on Sunday, Nov. 30. During this time the CHP will implement the Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), putting every available officer on the road.


“Be well rested when you start and allow extra time in case of congested traffic,” said Loveless. “Drive safe, drive sober and wear your seat belt.”


In addition to busy roadways, inclement weather is another obstacle motorists may encounter. Rain, fog, wind and snow have been known to create not only frustrating, but hazardous conditions for drivers. Those traveling through the mountains should carry chains in their vehicle.


Last year, during the Thanksgiving MEP, 41 people died in 4,337 collisions that occurred in California. More than half of the vehicle occupants killed were involved in alcohol-related collisions.


“Thanksgiving is a time for us all to be thankful for what we have. If fewer people lose their lives on our roads and highways, I will have something else to be truly thankful for," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.


Another sobering statistic, 1,628 people were arrested by CHP officers for driving under the influence last year over the Thanksgiving holiday; a nearly 2.5-percent decrease from the same time period the previous year.


The Thanksgiving MEP is also an Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) holiday. Operation CARE is a joint program of the nation’s highway patrols that promotes safe driving on interstate highways during holiday periods.


CARE highways in California include Interstates 80, 40, 15 (San Bernardino to the Nevada border) and 5 (Bakersfield north to the Oregon line).


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