(KRON) — The 6 p.m. hour is when California Highway Patrol will be increasing the number of officers on the roads. The maximum enforcement period will end at midnight but resumes each evening through the holiday weekend.
KRON4 did a ride along with a CHP officer on Wednesday, and here’s what police are on the lookout for. The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for the roadways and because of that CHP will have its maximum enforcement period.
From now until Sunday, every shift that CHP Officer Alex Ochoa works won’t be a typical one.
California Highway Patrol is going into its maximum enforcement period for the holiday weekend. Ochoa and other CHP officers have to keep an eye out for primary collision factors.
“Looking for any disabled motorists on the roadway,” Ochoa said. “We’re looking for any drivers that are using their cell phone, distracted driving, excessive speed or also any impaired drivers on the road.”
According to AAA, nearly 49 million Americans will be traveling for Thanksgiving, and highways are guaranteed to be jam-packed with drivers.
Experts say you’ll see the least amount of traffic after 8 p.m. Wednesday, but there are always safety tips to keep in mind — no matter when you decide to hit the road.
“You want to make sure you have plenty of space, safe speed, don’t use your cell phone while driving, hands-free keep your eyes on the road, have that high visual horizon of vehicles ahead of you,” Ochoa said.
The biggest concern for CHP when it comes to the primary collision factors is impaired driving. During last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, 42 people were killed in freeway crashes. CHP made more than one thousand DUI arrests.
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Ochoa says there’s no excuse for drunk driving when you can use rideshares like Uber and Lyft or plan ahead with a designated driver.
“I’ve responded to many crashes where individuals have been seriously hurt from the effects of an impaired driver,” he said.
CHP will have its next maximum enforcement period for Christmas from Dec. 23-26.