As the Christmas holiday approaches, millions of Californians will take to the roads to visit their loved ones.
But don't drive after enjoying that cup of cheer, the California Highway Patrol warns, as its annual Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period will be in effect.
“Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together, and we want to make sure everyone arrives safely at their destinations,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Drivers are reminded to make wise decisions ahead of time for their own safety and the safety of others sharing the roadways with them.”
The two-day enforcement period will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 24 and continue through 12 midnight on Dec. 25 CHP officer will be on “heightened alert” for speeders, those who don't buckle their safety belts and drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The effort comes in addition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs through Jan. 1.
“We plan on spending the holiday keeping Californians safe on our roadways,” Farrow said. “In return, we hope the motoring public will do their part by designating a non-drinking driver, wearing a seat belt, and driving at a safe, legal speed.”
A total of 39 Californians were killed in collisions during last year's four-and-a-half day Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period. More than half of those who died were not wearing a seat belt.
CHP officers also arrested more than 1,170 people for driving under the influence during last year's Maximum Enforcement Period.