Memorial Day weekend traffic will likely increase on California roadways, and in the interest of traffic safety, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct a Maximum Enforcement Period.
Seat belt usage is the focus of the maximum enforcement period, which will run through Monday. During the maximum enforcement, CHP officers will be out in force, looking for traffic safety violations and making efforts to educate motorists to ensure a safe holiday, according to the CHP’s public relations officer, Jamie Coffee.
Officers will also be watching carefully for distracted drivers and those who are impaired by drugs or alcohol, Coffee said.
“One of the simplest things a person can do to stay safe is to buckle up,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Not only does the law require vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt, but wearing a seatbelt helps protect against injury or death.”
Nearly half (46 percent) of all vehicle occupants killed in collisions within CHP jurisdiction last Memorial Day weekend were unrestrained. In all, 37 people died in crashes during the 78-hour holiday enforcement effort in California. Additionally, CHP officers made 1,060 arrests in California for driving under the influence.
Motorists are also reminded to protect child passengers by placing them in age-appropriate restraint devices, whether a safety seat or booster seat. The law requires that children under age eight ride in the back seat and that children under age two are secured in a rear-facing child passenger safety seat.
In addition to the extra enforcement, the CHP will take part in the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will emphasize seat belt use from through June 2. According to the traffic safety administration, in 2017 there were more than 10,000 unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes nationwide, said Coffee.