CHP stepping up patrols for Christmas holiday

Bay Area

SAN JOSE (KRON) — It’s the eve of Christmas Eve and as the major holiday approaches — the California Highway Patrol is stepping up the amount of officers out on the roads.

The CHP wants everyone on the roads to have a happy holiday and they’re hoping their increased presence on the roads will help drivers make the right choices. 

The statewide maximum enforcement period begins Tuesday — and covers all of highways — but for the CHP San jose office, they’re paying close attention to Highway 17. 

“It will be heavily used and heavily traveled,” said CHP Officer Ross Lee.

It’s the major thoroughfare connecting San Jose and Santa Cruz.

Highway 17 sees thousands of vehicles driving up and down each day, but the unique corridor also sees plenty of collisions.

“We don’t call them accidents, we call them collisions. Collisions are 100% preventable based on decisions someone makes behind the wheel,” Lee said.

The California Highway Patrol wants those decisions drivers make this holiday season — to be smart ones. 

Starting Christmas eve evening, the CHP will enter its Christmas maximum enforcement period, increasing the amount of officers out on the roads.

“Driving too fast, following too close, distracted driving,” Lee said. “As we pass the driver, we’re looking for the seatbelt, looking for a cell phone, are they looking down at their lap.”

They’ll be looking for signs of drunk driving as well and reminding those on the road to pay attention to the changing weather conditions too — especially if you’re headed down Highway 17.

“We want to make sure not only are you slowing down because the speed limit is reduced on 17 you’re slowing down for whatever the current conditions are on the road,” Lee said. “We measure success on how many people get home safely at the end of the day.” 

The maximum enforcement period begins Christmas Eve and goes through 11:59 p.m. Christmas night.

There will be several more days of maximum enforcement next week as well for the New Year’s holiday. 

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