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CHP: I-40 challenge goal met

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • The California Highway Patrol said a goal of zero fatalities on Interstate 40 over the Thanksgiving holiday was met, as part of the traffic safety challenge.

But the Interstate 5 challenge suffered one fatality, a child that was not restrained in the back seat of a vehicle in Kern County, according to a news release by the CHP.

“We have to acknowledge the public who took the challenges seriously and traveled safely throughout the weekend,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow stated on the release. “While one life was tragically lost during the challenge campaign, it is encouraging what can be accomplished when everyone works together for a common goal.”

According to the release, more than nine states took part in the challenges over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in efforts to educate and encourage the public to drive safe and wear their seat belts. The goal of the challenges: no fatalities during one of the busiest travel weekends on I-5 and I-40.

A statewide Thanksgiving Maximum Enforcement Period was conducted by CHP officers over the holiday weekend.

According to the release, statewide traffic collision fatalities during this year’s enforcement period were down 25 percent from 2012 with a total of 33 fatalities, 17 of which were in the CHP’s jurisdiction. Fifteen of the vehicle occupants killed in the CHP’s jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts, the release states.

Arrests made for driving under the influence were also down 9 percent from 2012, as CHP officers made 1,201 DUI arrests statewide over the four-day effort.

“This past weekend was successful for our department,” Barstow area CHP spokesman Don Spiker said. “The extra patrol units we had during this weekend definitely contributed to people driving safe through our area. We will continue to have a visual presence on the highways every day throughout the year.”

Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com.


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