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CHP warns people to drive carefully ahead of Christmas, NYE

Posted at 9:07 AM, Nov 30, 2021

Traffic around the holidays is always busy. And this year, many people were looking forward to seeing their families after a long pandemic.

According to California Highway Patrol Headquarters, 57 people lost their lives in car accidents in California since the Maximum Enforcement Period for Thanksgiving started last Tuesday.

Officer Mike Poelking, the Public Information Officer for SLO California Highway Patrol (CHP), said of the holidays, “We've got we've got one behind us and we've got the Christmas and New Year's holidays coming up. The thing I would say and like we were talking, there's really no silver bullet as far as tips or tricks, some tips that I would have if you really are wanting to avoid traffic. I experience myself this past weekend, just leaving ultra early in the morning. I mean, well before sunrise, and you'll be surprised the roadways are pretty open, with people laying low, and you'll be able to get there.”

Over the holidays, CHP usually announces a maximum enforcement period where more officers are on the road, helping to keep people safe.

They suggest wearing your seat belt, staying focused and avoiding driving distracted.

“Any other suggestion I would have for you would be simply to if you find yourself in heavy traffic, really not much you're going to do. Try to be polite to you, your drivers around you and hopefully they'll reciprocate,” Poelking said.

CHP headquarters also reported arresting 1,019 people for driving under the influence since last Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The KSBY team asked whether CHP officials thought that the new omicron variant would affect traffic, but they said they weren’t sure just yet.