The California Highway Patrol is starting its Maximum Enforcement Period for the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. running through Sunday, Nov. 25 at 11:59 p.m.
“Motorists are less likely to encounter one of our officers by simply wearing their seat belt,” State California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a statement. “Not only does the law require everyone inside the vehicle to be properly secured, seat belts are your best line of defense in a collision.”
Collisions increased significantly during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel period, according to the CHP. A 52 percent increase over Thanksgiving 2010, 32 people were killed on California’s roadways last year. Additionally, two-thirds of the people killed in collisions within CHP’s jurisdiction last year were not wearing a seat belt.
“Although the majority of motorists in California are buckling up every time they get into a vehicle, there is still a small portion of the motoring public that need this reminder,” Farrow said. “By not wearing your seat belt, the risk of death or injury in a collision substantially increases.”
During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday, CHP made 1,475 arrests for driving under the influence.