SACRAMENTO–Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, is the traditional start of summer and a time when more travelers and especially families will be on the go. When California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers take to the roads over the Memorial Day weekend, they will be working to save lives through seat belt education and enforcement.
To help keep motorists safe, the CHP will be conducting its annual Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) throughout the state. The MEP begins at 6:01 p.m. on Friday and continues through Monday. Although the focus of the MEP is seat belt usage, the CHP will be watching just as diligently for distracted drivers and those driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.
“Everyone inside the vehicle should be safely secured every trip, every time. Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and death,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “It takes only seconds to buckle up, and those seconds could literally save your life. Furthermore, California law requires that all children under the age of eight to be properly secured in a child safety seat.”
Thirty-one people died in collisions during the 2015 Memorial Day MEP. Two-thirds of those killed in the CHP’s jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts. That same year, 1,125 people were arrested for DUI in CHP jurisdiction during the Memorial Day MEP.
California will also join the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign, May 23 to June 5. The NHTSA reports that in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants in fatal collisions nationwide were not wearing seat belts.
“So many of the deaths and injuries that occur on the highway are completely preventable,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Our job is to make the motoring public aware of the risks and encourage them to be especially cautious this holiday weekend.”