California Highway Patrol officers will be out in force beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, pulling over speeders and unsafe drivers in the hope of preventing tragedies on the road.
"All available officers are going to be on the road during our Maximum Enforcement Period," says CHP officer Brandon Correia, speaking today to KRON4. "We're just basically trying to assist the public to get where they need to go safely, without incident."
Officers will be pulling over erratic or distracted-seeming drivers, and Correia says there will also be checkpoints in some places in an effort to find impaired drivers who may have had a few too many drinks at Thanksgiving — or on Thanksgiving Eve, a traditional night of revelry across the country, and something that Pennsylvania is addressing out of virus concerns by stopping the sale of alcohol today at 5 p.m.
Traffic is expected to be lighter in the Bay Area this holiday weekend with all the discouragement from public health officials around gatherings, and the curfew in effect in all but a couple of Bay Area counties. But clearly some traveling around the region will be going on, and no doubt Christmas shoppers will be out as well.
Last year the CHP made 867 arrests during the Thanksgiving holiday period for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And there were 42 fatalities on California roads during the same five-day period. Of those, the CHP says, 11 occurred because drivers or passengers were not wearing seatbelts.
Correia says that no one will be pulled over for violating the state's suggested 10 p.m. curfew.
The CHP's Maximum Enforcement Period lasts from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night.
"Slow your speed down," Correia says. "Just because there's less people on the road and less congestion doesn't give you a free pass to drive 100 to get to where you're going."
Photo: CHP Oakland/Twitter