While the holidays are a time of celebration for the public, they can also be a time of concern for the California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Traffic Safety. The CHP and its public safety partner, the OTS, are working together ahead of Independence Day to address the crisis on California’s roadways by encouraging safe driving behaviors through education and enforcement.
“Reckless driving is a serious concern on California’s roadways and it is the responsibility of CHP and OTS to help keep the public safe,” states CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee in a news release. “Every year speed is the leading cause of roadway crashes in our state, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Slow down and help us make our roads safer for everyone.”
The CHP will implement a statewide maximum enforcement period beginning at 6:01 p.m. Friday, June 30, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4. Throughout the extended holiday weekend, all available uniformed members of the department will be on patrol to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior and take appropriate enforcement action when necessary.
“Maximum enforcement helps save lives and protects everyone on our roads by holding drivers accountable for dangerous, unlawful behaviors like speeding and impaired driving,” adds OTS Director Barbara Rooney in the news release. “Whether you are traveling near or far, make a plan to go safely before heading to your destination. We want you and your loved ones to enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.”
Forty-four people were killed in crashes in California during last year’s Independence Day weekend. CHP made nearly 1,000 arrests for driving under the influence throughout the 78-hour holiday enforcement effort.
CHP officials urge people to designate a sober driver, use public transit or hire a ride-share service. Anyone who sees or suspects an impaired driver should call 911 immediately. Callers should prepared to provide the dispatcher a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location and direction of travel. A phone call may save someone’s life.
“We encourage you to safely enjoy your holiday weekend,” continues Duryee. “Travel at a safe speed, avoid distraction behind the wheel, buckle up and drive sober. Rest assured, CHP officers will be working diligently to protect those who are traveling on California’s roadways.”