CHP aims for ‘fatality-free’ Fourth

Siskiyou Daily News report

California Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown issued a challenge to the state’s motorists this Independence Day holiday.

The challenge is to go one day with no traffic fatalities throughout the state.

According to the release, since record keeping began in 1968, there have been only three days when death took a holiday from California roadways.

The most recent fatality-free day was Sept. 12, 2000. The other two were May 1, 1991, and March 11, 1968.

“We’ve never had a major holiday that didn’t include a traffic fatality in California. We’re hoping to make this a first,” said Lt. Jerry Flavin, commander of the CHP Mount Shasta Area Office.

Locally, the Mount Shasta CHP Area Office has picked up the challenge by assigning extra officers to patrol area roadways during the Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) from 6 p.m. July 3 through midnight July 4. The last comparable Independence Day MEP was 2001, when eight people were killed statewide. Last year, during the July 4 holiday period, the Mount Shasta CHP Area experienced its normal increase in traffic volume due to the annual events in the area. With this increased traffic volume came four traffic collisions, three of which caused injuries, and there were two traffic-related arrests, the release stated.

“We are calling upon all our officers to be extra vigilant this Fourth of July in looking for unsafe drivers,” Flavin said. “We want to see everyone have a great time and travel safely to and from all of the great events that are planned. We at the Mount Shasta CHP are happy to lend our support to the foot race/walk, the parade, fireworks display and all of the other activities. We will be deploying extra officers at these events to watch for those motorists that may be a danger to themselves and those out to enjoy the activities. Be sure to buckle up yourself and everyone in your vehicle, reduce your speed and remain alert to your surroundings, and do not drink and drive. If you are drinking, be sure to utilize a designated driver.”

Motorists are also asked to report suspected drunken drivers by calling 911 with a description of the vehicle and its location.

“Drive as though your life depends upon it. It does,” Flavin said.