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Traffic fatalities nearly triple over Christmas weekend

More information :

Christmas weekend 2011

• 12 — DUI arrests in Victorville area

• 980 — DUI arrests statewide

• 0 — Collision fatalities in Victorville area

• 14 — Collision fatalities statewide

Christmas weekend 2012

• 11 — DUI arrests in Victorville area

• 1,170 — DUI arrests statewide

• 0 — Collision fatalities in Victorville area

• 39 — Collision fatalities statewide

Source: California Highway Patrol

VICTORVILLE • While the Victorville area had a fatality-free Christmas weekend on the road, the number of people killed in traffic collisions statewide nearly tripled. Looking forward to New Year's weekend, the California Highway Patrol is planning preventative measures to make the year’s final holiday weekend a safe one.

Between 6:01 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, 39 people were killed in traffic collisions and 1,170 were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California, according to a press release from the CHP.

Last year, only 14 people statewide were killed in collisions over Christmas weekend.

In the Victorville area this year, CHP officers made 11 DUI arrests during the 102-hour Christmas maximum enforcement period — one less than in 2011. There were no traffic-related fatalities in the Victorville area during this time in both 2011 and 2012, according to CHP spokesperson Joaquin Zubieta.

To prepare for New Year’s weekend, the CHP is planning another maximum enforcement period from 6 p.m. Friday through midnight on Tuesday, during which time 80 percent of the CHP’s force will be on duty.

Last New Year’s holiday, the CHP made more than 1,200 DUI arrests and 25 people were killed in traffic collisions, most of whom were not wearing seat belts, according to the release.

To have a safe weekend, the CHP recommends that people designate a sober driver before beginning to celebrate. Additionally, the CHP asks people to call 911 to report any drivers who they suspect of being under the influence.

“Our ultimate goal is to help prevent avoidable tragedy by encouraging the public to make responsible choices such as designating a sober driver, buckling up and traveling at a speed safe for conditions,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in the release.

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