Irresponsible drivers, beware – the California Highway Patrol is using all its resources to maximize enforcement over the Memorial Day weekend.
In the hopes of bolstering seat belt usage while minimizing the number of DUIs, all available officers will be patrolling over the three-day weekend. This Maximum Enforcement Period will begin today at 6 p.m. and last until midnight Monday, May 26.
In a press release, Santa Barbara area CHP Captain Jeff Sgobba stressed the importance of wearing a seat belt during the holiday weekend.
“No matter how long or short the road trip, always wear a seat belt,” Sgobba said. “It can make the difference between life and death.”
Although an annual survey done by the state Office of Traffic Safety reported that 94.6 percent of California motorists regularly use their seat belts, Memorial Day often results in higher instances of unsafe driving practices.
Last year, 37 people died in vehicle crashes in California over Memorial Day weekend. Over half of those killed in CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt.
Additionally, CHP arrested 1,614 drivers for DUI during the same time period.
The added enforcement comes amidst a statewide and national campaign to increase seat belt usage. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign will continue until June 1.