Utah Highway Patrol says excessive speeds continue to be a problem

Jun 29, 2021, 3:47 PM
utah cracks down on excessive road speeds...
FILE: Utah Highway Patrol troopers enforce the speed limit in a construction zone on I-80 near 1700 East in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Just days after Utah Highway Patrol troopers pleaded with the public to slow down, enforcement numbers show Utahns continue to press the accelerator and use excessive speeds on the roads. 

Cracking down on excessive speeders in Utah

Thursday, UHP and the Utah Department of Transportation announced plans to take part in a speed enforcement campaign with nearly a dozen western states, called the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition’s Excessive Speed Enforcement Safety Campaign. 

At the time, UHP Maj. Jeff Nigbur told speeders drive significantly over the posted speed limit. 

“Once upon a time, we were talking 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit,” Nigbur said last week. “We have seen a significant increase in people traveling 30 mph over the speed limit. And on the freeway (traveling) over 100 mph. We have seen that go absolutely through the roof this year.” 

Almost as if to prove his point, one of the more than a thousand “speed contacts” made by UHP over the weekend involved a motorcyclist traveling 145 miles per hour, or a whopping 75 miles an hour over the posted limit of 70. 

Nigbur tweeted an image of the citation, pointing out it came just after asking the public for help curbing excessive speeds in Utah. 

“This was not what we were talking about,” he wrote. “We can do better!” 

Weekend enforcement wrap-up points to a trend

UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden said the weekend campaign resulted in a number of traffic stops. 

“Over the weekend . . . we had 1,430 speed contacts,” Roden said. “We also had 116 seatbelt contacts and 36 DUIs.” 

Earlier this year, UHP confirmed citations involving excessive speeds in Utah, specifically drivers going faster than 100 mph, rose 29% in 2020. 

So far in 2021, UHP has responded to at least 31 crashes where at least one person died, and speed contributed to the crash. 

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Utah Highway Patrol says excessive speeds continue to be a problem