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CHP Maximum Enforcement for Holiday Weekend

As expected Wednesday night has been very busy for the California Highway Patrol on the Central Coast as traffic reached a peak for those hitting the road for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The CHP is in a “Maximum Enforcement Period” through the rest of the week until midnight on Sunday with all available officers out on patrol.

Its also a busy time for those not in law enforcement whose job is to respond to calls for service on Central Coast roads and highways.

Its not only one of the busiest travel days of the year, the day before Thanksgiving also keeps Santa Maria tow truck driver Solomon Ramos busy throughout the night.

“Yeah at this time especially its very busy”, Ramos says, “because a lot of people visit their families and their cars break down more.”

Central Coast News caught up with Ramos on Highway 101 near Nipomo responding to a stalled vehicle, one of an endless number of calls for service Wednesday night.

Ramos says many of his calls over a holiday period like Thanksgiving are to tow vehicles after the driver has been arrested for driving under the influence.

“Mostly this time, yeah”, Ramos says.

The California Highway Patrol will remain on Maximum Enforcement until the end of the long holiday weekend Sunday night.

“Especially for a night like tonight, we have so many families on the road, speed is definitely one of our major concerns”, says Santa Maria CHP Officer Rob Wallace, “as of today we’ve already had several traffic collisions up and down the Central Coast, so its really important for people to just watch their speed, slow down and be patient because we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely.”

The CHP says there’s zero tolerance not only for speeding, but also for not wearing seat belts, talking on a cell phone or texting while driving and driving under the influence.

“We’re going to be out there looking for people drifting on the roadway in the lanes, making unsafe lane changes”, adds CHP Officer Chad Hertzell, “and stopping them and investigating whether or not they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if they are, we’ll take them to jail.”

Last year 33 people were killed over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The CHP says the majority of those fatalities involved victims not wearing their seat belts.

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