Thanksgiving will look different this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of large gatherings, some might just be celebrating with their immediate families. Others might have a limited number of guests.
One thing that will not be different: The California Highway Patrol will be increasing the number of officers on patrol and reminding travelers to obey the rules of the road.
Starting 6:01 p.m. Wednesday and continuing through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the CHP will be enacting a Maximum Enforcement Period and be actively seeking out unsafe drivers as well as assisting motorists in need.
“This year has presented us with many unforeseen challenges, but safety is still our priority,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement. “If you choose to travel this Thanksgiving weekend, our goal is to help motorists arrive at their destination without incident.”
In a news release, CHP officials advised motorists to avoid driving while tired, impaired or distracted and to always have a seat belt properly fastened. Officials also reminded drivers of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s limited stay-at-home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night until Dec. 21 and to self-quarantine for 14 days if coming in from another state or country.
“Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year,” officials wrote. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic may be a bit lighter, but this is not an invitation to speed to your destination.”
During last year’s Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period, 42 people died on roadways, including 11 in the CHP’s jurisdiction who were not wearing seat belts. The agency also arrested 867 people who were reportedly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.