CHP to be out in full force Thanksgiving weekend 

Every available officer from the California Highway Patrol will be patrolling state roads and highways Thanksgiving weekend looking for hazardous drivers, the CHP reported Monday.

As part of the weekend’s Maximum Enforcement Period, officers will begin patrolling Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. and continue watching for unsafe drivers and drunken drivers until Nov. 25, according to the CHP.

"Our message is simple ... drive safe, drive sober and buckle up," CHP Capt. Robert Morehen said.

The Maximum Enforcement Period is part of Operation CARE, which encourages safe holiday driving on state highways, according to the CHP.

Patrolling during the holiday weekend will be necessary, according to the CHP, as busy roadways and bad weather create dangerous driving conditions.

During the 2006 Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period, 4,768 collisions occurred. More than half of the 42 people killed in the accidents were not wearing seatbelts, according to the CHP.

Drunken driving is also a concern, the CHP reported. Officers arrested 1,670 people for driving under the influence during the 2006 Thanksgiving weekend, which was a 10 percent increase from the same weekend in 2005.

Drivers are also being warned of traffic backups the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when millions of drivers are expected to travel state roads and highways, according to the CHP.

— Bay City News

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