The California Highway Patrol is upping enforcement of traffic laws and increasing the number of officers on duty to thwart drunk driving and speeding this Memorial Day weekend.
Throughout Santa Barbara County, the CHP is instating a Maximum Enforcement Period over the holiday from 6 p.m. this Friday until midnight on Monday, May 29. CHP Capt. Jeff Sgobba said the increased enforcement is a part of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, and officers will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers who are not obeying the law.
In addition, Sgobba said the CHP will have extra patrol units on Interstate Highways 80, 40, 16 and 5 as a part of Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort – a joint program of the nation’s highway patrols that emphasizes safety on highways during holidays.
“Our focus will be on motorists who ignore their safety belts or fail to properly secure their children,” Sgobba said.
Sgobba said even if the driver is wearing a safety belt, motorists still run the risk of a getting ticket if anyone in their vehicle is not wearing their safety belt.
CHP spokesman Don Clotworthy said he strongly encourages people to make sure they have a designated driver.
“We want you to play it safe – so be a sober driver, or have one,” Sgobba said.
Clotworthy said the CHP’s Maximum Enforcement Period is being implemented not only as an effort to make roads safer, but to reduce traffic and driving time for travelers. He said reckless drivers who cause accidents slow down the flow of traffic and create long delays.
“We obviously just want to keep the traffic flowing this weekend with as little problems as possible,” Clothworthy said.
He also said it is important for sober drivers to watch for possible drunk drivers over the weekend.
“If you see anything out there that looks inherently dangerous, make sure you call the authorities immediately,” Clotworthy said. “Our officers need to know these things … the public is our eyes and ears out there.”