SANTA ROSA – The Golden Gate Division of the California Highway Patrol issued a Community Bulletin asking drivers to be especially safe and aware this Labor Day weekend. 2015 has been one of the deadliest on Bay Area roads in recent years. The CHP has noted a 20% increase in the number of fatal collisions within its jurisdiction. This accounts for 120 fatal collisions thus far compared to the same period last year.
The CHP will be out on the roads in full force over the holiday weekend. All available CHP officers will be on duty to detect impaired drivers and to assist motorists in need. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20%.
Last year’s Labor Day holiday accounted for 27 traffic collision deaths across California, 3 of which happened on Bay Area roads. Half of those killed were not wearing seatbelts.
“Drunk driving is one of the most serious traffic-related issues we face today,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Make sure your plans for your end-of-summer celebrations always include a safe way to get home for yourself and your passengers. If you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested.”
The CHP made 1,100 arrests for DUI statewide during the holiday weekend last year, 166 of those were in the Bay Area. If you see a suspected impaired driver, call 9-1-1 if it is safe to do so. Be prepared to assist the dispatcher by providing your location, a description of the vehicle, the license plate number if possible, and the vehicle’s direction of travel. Your phone call could save a life.
Although the CHP says their Maximum Enforcement Period starts tonight, Friday September 4 at 6:01 pm, and continues through 11:59 pm Monday, an SIG alert issued earlier today suggests the CHP is off to a busy start. Two lanes of northbound Highway 101 were closed this morning due to fatal traffic collision involving a vehicle vs pedestrian in Santa Rosa.