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CHP Will Keep Close Eye on Record Number of Californians on Holiday Roads



According to AAA, a record 7.5 million Californians are planning Thanksgiving getaways. (Shutterstock)
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With an expected record of 7.5 million Californians planning Thanksgiving getaways, the California Highway Patrol will be out in full force.

Beginning at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday and continuing through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the CHP will rely on maximum enforcement and visibility in a bid to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

“Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and celebration, but the holiday is also associated with increased travel and a higher risk of traffic incidents,” CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee said. “Our officers will be on patrol to take enforcement action as necessary and to provide assistance to motorists who are stranded or in need of help on the side of the road.”

During the four-day 2022 Thanksgiving period,  37 people died in crashes in the CHP’s jurisdiction. CHP officers also wrote more than 8,600 citations for speeding and seatbelt violations. And, there were 1,016 arrests for DUI.

“Observe speed limits, avoid distractions, and ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up,” Duryee said. “Responsible driving contributes to a happy and safe holiday.”

More Than 55 Million Travelers Nationwide

Nationwide, 55.4 million people are expected to travel over the holiday weekend. That’s 2.3% more than last year and the third-largest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2001.

“Travel demand has truly bounced back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Brian Ng, senior vice president for AAA Northern California. “Our holiday travel projections show the year-long trend of Californians’ eagerness to get away and create memories with family and friends.”

AAA expects 88% of travelers — more than 49 million Americans — to drive to their destination (plus 1.7% from 2022). The skies are also anticipated to be busy, with 8.5% — or more than 4.7 million people — flying to their holiday destinations (up 6.6% from 2022).

The busiest days to fly will be today and Wednesday, as well as the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to the Transportation Security Administration.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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