FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – As millions of drivers hit the road for Thanksgiving, the California Highway Patrol will be out in force to make sure the roads are safe.
The CHP’s maximum enforcement period started at 6 p.m. Thursday, and runs until Sunday night at midnight.
YourCentralValley.com had the chance to ride along with a CHP officer during this busy time. CHP officers statewide will try and blanket as much of California’s roadways as they can this holiday weekend.
One of those officers is the CHP’s Gerardo Rodriguez. He reports and responds to anything along Highway 99 and the surrounding areas.
“The most we see during the enforcement is high speeds and a lot of drunk driving. Most drunk driving leads to traffic collisions,” said Rodriguez.
Last year during the maximum enforcement period, there were 1,019 DUI arrests throughout the State of California, an increase of almost 150 compared to 2020.
In each of the past two years, there have been more than 30 deaths on the state’s roadways during this Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s the busiest time of the year, right before Thanksgiving,” he said.
This Thanksgiving season is expected to be even busier than last year.
AAA research shows nearly 50 million Americans will hit the road to make it to their Thanksgiving dinner. That keeps CHP very busy.
“We’ll typically get over 500 to 700 calls a day,” said Rodriguez.
“We’re going to have the maximum amount of officers out there, 24 hours a day, out there on the field, looking for those people who are causing the most trouble out there,” said Sgt. Mike Salas.
Mike Salas is with the CHP Fresno Divisional Office.
Over the past year, staffing has doubled. Allowing more officers to keep their eyes on the road.
“Drive safe, reduce your speed. Give yourself enough time to get to your families. Always wear your seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, and don’t text as well,” concluded Rodriguez.