With the Thanksgiving travel season approaching, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is reminding all motorists to ensure everyone inside their vehicle is buckled up, before heading out.

Whether your travels take you across the country or just across town, buckling up is one way to help secure a safe arrival at your destination.

“Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “As the volume of traffic on the roadways increases, so does the risk of being involved in a serious or deadly collision.”

Providing safety and assistance throughout the state, CHP officers will engage in a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). The Thanksgiving MEP begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, and continues through at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.

Last year, there were 44 people killed in collisions during the Thanksgiving holiday in California.

This total represents more than a 37 percent increase from the previous year. Among the 25 vehicle occupants killed within CHP jurisdiction, 40 percent were not wearing a seat belt.

“The simple act of using a seat belt or child safety seat, every time you get into a vehicle can be the difference between life and death in the event of a collision,” said Farrow.

In addition to enforcing the seat belt law, CHP officers remain vigilant for aggressive and impaired drivers.

During last year’s 4-1/4-day Thanksgiving MEP, CHP officers made more than 1,300 arrests for driving under the influence. As always, motorists are encouraged to be on the lookout for impaired drivers and report them by calling 9-1-1.