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4th of July Enforcement underway on California Highways

California Highway Patrol is already out on the roads for Fourth of July weekend. Maximum enforcement patrol began at 6:01 p.m. Friday and runs through 11:59 p.m. July 4th.

The CHP says they’ll be on the lookout for any violations but with one ultimate goal.

“Our ultimate goal for the maximum enforcement period is to save lives,” said Officer Oscar Loza with California Highway Patrol.

Through the 4th of July, nearly every California Highway Patrol officer will be working to do just that.

“All officers that are available that are not on vacation are scheduled to work so that way we have more officers on the road,” Loza said.

Based on past holiday weekends, the increased patrols are necessary.

Last year, 35 people were killed on the road during the maximum enforcement period, 65 percent weren’t wearing seatbelts.

Also 1,118 people were arrested for DUI in just the 78-hour period.

Though CHP says they catch many driving under the influence Fourth of July weekend, there’s also another dangerous violation they’re seeing.

“Most collisions occur because of speeding and distracted driving” Officer Loza said. “So we will be out there looking for people speeding, not wearing their seatbelt, distracted driving and of course, people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

Though they have a lot to watch for, The CHP says it’s not just about giving tickets.

“We assist travelers in anyway possible whether it’s changing a tire, or getting them to the nearest gas station,” Loza said.

Before you head out to celebrate this Independence Day, the CHP also has some advice.

“Speed kills, seatbelts save lives,” says Loza. “If you plan to drink, make sure you have a plan, have a designated driver.”

Some other tips from CHP is to try to schedule trips at non-peak times and be sure to check tire pressure and clean your windshields for visibility.

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