CHP: Drive safely this Labor Day weekend

The California Highway Patrol is asking motorists to drive safely this Labor Day weekend.

In a news release from CHP headquarters in Sacramento, CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said his officers will have a strong presence on the state’s highways this weekend.

“While many people will spend the long weekend celebrating with their friends and family, the law enforcement community will be on patrol working to keep the highways hazard free,” Farrow said. “Our main goal through this high-visibility-enforcement effort is to prevent tragedies from occuring.”

The CHP will have a maximum enforcement period in place from 6 p.m. Friday until 11:59 p.m. Monday. A maximum enforcement period consists of 80 percent of the CHP’s officers patroling the state’s highways.

According to the CHP, 49 people were killed during last year’s Labor Day weekend-enforcement period. Those fatalities constitute a 40 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012.

CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence during the Labor Day weekend.

Farrow is advising drivers to wear seat belts, obey speed limits, avoid distractions and used a designated driver if alcohol is going to be consumed.

He also said motorists who spot drunken drivers should be very descriptive when reporting them to authorities. Describe the vehicle, know the license plate number, location and direction the vehicle is traveling, Farrow said.

“Help us make the holiday weekend safe for yourself and everyone by thinking about safety,” he said.