High gas prices? No problem. AAA Northern California Spokeswoman Cynthia Harris says more than 3.7 million Californians are still expected to travel this Labor Day Weekend. In fact, it’s a 3.4 percent increase from last year. Harris says the overall trend has been positive with 2.9 million Californians driving – a 3.6 percent increase- and 500,000 expected to fly.
This, as drivers battle higher gas prices this holiday weekend. San Jose’s average is $4.19 a gallon, up from $3.85 a year ago. San Francisco’s average hit $.4.23 a gallon, up from $3.91 this time last year. Harris says people are committed to traveling this weekend, though many are staying closer to home or staying with friends and families to cut down on vacation costs.
Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol is going to start its Maximum Enforcement Period at 6 p.m. Friday night and end 11.59 p.m. Monday night. This means all available officers will be out on patrol, cracking down on speeders and drunk drivers. CHP officers are on heightened alert after last year’s Labor Day Weekend, when 29 people died in collisions across the state, a 38-percent increase from the year before.
CHP Officer Mike Ferguson says 19 of them were killed because they were not wearing seatbelts. This month alone, Ferguson adds two people in the San Francisco area died because they were ejected from their vehicles.