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CHP cautions to drive safe, sober

The California Highway Patrol is asking drivers to make safety their main course this Thanksgiving holiday.

The long holiday weekend is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year and because of that extra care is needed, said Jaime Coffee, a CHP spokesman.

“The CHP will be kicking off the maximum enforcement period beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28,” he said. “All available CHP officers will be on patrol looking for unsafe driving practices, including seat belt violations, speeding, distracted driving and signs of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”



One of the more common violations is driving too fast, said Jason Lyman, from the CHP’s Gold Run Area of Nevada County.

“Obviously, it is a very busy weekend, a lot of traffic, so be patient, maintain good following distance,” he said. “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get to that Thanksgiving dinner. Traffic is definitely going to be very heavy.”




Because there were more restrictive requirements in place at the height of the pandemic throughout the end-of-year holiday run in 2020, there is possibly going to be a higher traffic volume in 2021, Lyman said. He urged motorists to practice defensive driving.

“Don’t follow too closely and give yourself adequate space between vehicles,” he said. “And wear a seat belt and do not talk on the cell phone while driving.”

Another hazard to be on the look out for is road maintenance, Lyman said. While there will be no current construction during Thanksgiving, there are some traffic cones in place that Nevada County drivers should be aware of. Cones will be out on Interstate 80 at Crystal Springs Bridge. Also, cones are out on I-80 at Cisco Grove.

During the Thanksgiving maximum enforcement period in 2020, 33 people died on the roadways within the CHP jurisdiction, 14 of whom were not wearing seat belts. The CHP also made 868 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“When getting behind the wheel, make certain you and all your passengers buckle up before heading out and remember to always avoid distractions,” said Amanda Ray, CHP commissioner. “Proper seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives in the event of a crash. Everyone in the vehicle should be safely secured before even starting the car, including children being in the correct child safety seats.”

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com


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