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Safe Holiday Driving
updated: Dec 11, 2012, 6:00 PM

Source: Santa Barbara CHP


On Friday, December 14, 2012, at 10:00 AM, Santa Barbara CHP Captain Marty Maples will host a press conference along with other local emergency responders and community leaders at the CHP office to promote safe driving during this Holiday Season, and to reinforce the importance of traffic safety on SR-154.

Captain Maples will emphasize the importance of making responsible decisions when it comes to drinking and driving - and the consequence if one does not. "We want everyone to be able to enjoy celebrating the holidays, said Captain Marty Maples, "But if you're going to be drinking, arrange in advance to have a designated driver who will not be drinking alcohol." "There is zero tolerance by law enforcement agencies as well as the public for preventable property damage, injuries, and deaths caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

To assist in keeping local roadways safe, the Office of Traffic Safety's "Avoid the Twelve" program will provide additional law enforcement officers for patrol and sobriety checkpoints during the period. "If you are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will go to jail; if you are stopped for exceeding the speed limit, talking on a cell phone or not wearing your seat belt, you will receive a citation," added Captain Maples.

The press conference will begin at 10:00 AM at the Santa Barbara CHP office.

A vehicle recently involved in a major collision will be on display, as well as emergency vehicles from the participating agencies. The media is encouraged to arrive early for set up and pre-press conference interviews.


  • Don't mix alcohol and driving. If you're going to celebrate with alcohol, have a designated driver targeted to get you home safely. If you're not going to drink, offer to be a designated driver for a friend or family member. Avoid "party hopping" after you have been drinking. If you park downtown and go to nightclubs or restaurants and drink, leave your car parked overnight and take a taxi home.

  • If you're hosting a party, don't have an "open bar" but have a person designated to serve and regulate alcohol. Also, have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, food, and coffee available. Assist your guests who have been drinking in finding an alternate way of getting home; i.e. taxi cabs, a designated driver, etc.

  • Leave early for your party. Watch your speed and remember to treat other motorists like you want to be treated - don't speed, follow too closely, or change lanes unsafely.

  • Make sure that you and all passengers in the vehicle are wearing a seatbelt. It is your responsibility to ensure that all children six years of age or younger are using an approved car seat or booster seat and are seated in the rear seat.

  • Hang up the phone! In 2011, CHP officers issued over 135,000 citations to distracted drivers talking or text messaging on hand-held cell phones. Hands- free devices make great holiday gifts. Avoid the possibility of receiving a citation or being involved in a collision this holiday season by keeping your hands on the wheel and your full attention to your driving.

  • Don't drive when you're tired. Fatigue can affect your driving as much as alcohol. A tired driver won't react quickly to hazards ahead and his or her judgment will be impaired. If you're planning a long trip, rest beforehand, take frequent breaks to refresh yourself, and share the driving duties with the others in your vehicle.

  • With many people attending parties or family gatherings, be especially watchful for pedestrians - not just at crosswalks, but also around parked cars, near restaurants and in residential areas.

    Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

     COMMENT 353153 agree helpful negative off topic

    2012-12-12 07:35 AM

    A press conference? How about better driver education classes? A press conference isn't going to suddenly make people safer drivers. Lame.


     COMMENT 353495P agree helpful negative off topic

    2012-12-12 08:20 PM

    The ability for us all to drive safely and harmoniously on the road has nothing to do with driver education. People know when they are not driving properly; they just don't care.

    How about we approach the problem of social standards surrounding driving? If one feels like they can run the light because it *just barely* turned red and nobody shames them for it, they'll keep doing it. If they wait until the last second to get into the lane they need to be in and cut another driver off in the process and nobody shames them, they'll keep doing it. Crossing over double yellow lines in turns, aggressively taking the right of way, driving fast in parking lots, and other selfish habits abound.

    The solution: tell that jerk of a driver you know (sometimes that jerk is us) to knock it off! If they feel they are being judged negatively by their friends and family for their self-centered driving style, they just might start driving differently.


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