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CHP plans 'maximum enforcement' for holiday weekend

Posted: May 25, 2010 12:03 p.m.
Updated: May 25, 2010 2:14 p.m.
 
Sacramento, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol has designated Memorial Day weekend a "maximum enforcement period" from Friday, May 28 at 6 p.m. to Monday, May 31 at 11:59 p.m.

During this period, every available officer will be on the road looking for motorists who are a danger to themselves or others on the state's roadways, the CHP said.

"Insist everyone is properly restrained with a seat belt or a child safety seat before starting your engine," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "Those two seconds could save your life or the life of someone you love."

Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of the summer travel season. Many Californians will celebrate this holiday with picnics, barbecues and road trips. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds all motorists to "drive safely, and buckle up" before heading out for the long weekend.

During last year's MEP, 45 people were killed on California's roadways. According to statistics, nearly half of the vehicle occupants killed within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

To combat the problem of improperly restrained passengers, all CHP areas will participate in the national "Click-It or Ticket" campaign from May 24 to June 6.

"Our officers have seen first hand how effective using seatbelts and child safety seats are in reducing injuries and saving lives of those involved in motor vehicle collisions," Farrow said. "It's simple. Buckle up. Watch your speed and never drink and drive."

Last year, CHP officers made 1,465 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) during the 78-hour reporting period. In an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road, the CHP is encouraging report drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1.

The CHP asks callers to note the location and direction the suspected drunken driver is traveling, as well as a description of the car's color, make, and model.

This weekend is also an operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) holiday. Operation CARE is a joint program of the nation's highway patrols that places special safety emphasis on interstate highways during holiday periods. CARE highways in California include Interstates 80, 40, 15 and 5.

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