GOVERNMENT

Utah Highway Patrol issuing far more tickets for dangerous speeds

Dec 7, 2021, 7:08 PM
Photo of a Utah highway petrol vehicle...
FILE -- A Utah Highway Patrol trooper searches information on his computer on I-15 in Utah County Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE COUNTY — The Utah Highway Patrol says too many drivers in the state are traveling at dangerous speeds along our freeways.  They’ve issued far more tickets to drivers going over 100 miles an hour this year than before the pandemic started.

Dangerous speeds

Some law enforcement officers believe a strange phenomenon happened during the pandemic.  Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Cameron Roden says many drivers may have gotten used to wide open roads because fewer drivers were moving about.  Plus, he says UHP tried to limit the spread of COVID-19 by only pulling over the most egregious speeders and reckless drivers.

Roden said, “With COVID, too, I think people kind of knew that law enforcement were not enforcing the speed laws quite as much.”

Even with the limited number of traffic stops, Roden says they still pulled over 5,100 drivers going faster than 100 miles an hour in 2020.  That number isn’t as high for 2021, but Roden says the number of drivers reaching those dangerous speeds has them very alarmed.

Highway deaths still on the rise

“We’re just under 4,500 citations for speeds over 100 miles an hour this year, so far,” Roden says, which is roughly 1,000 more than what UHP issued in 2019.  “It’s something we’ll continue to target.”

Roden says the number of roadway fatalities is still on the rise, and extreme speeds are one of the main reasons why.

“Those high speeds are definitely not something we’ll be tolerating.  It’s something that really leads to severe accidents when you get speeds that high,” he said.  “We’ve all got to do our part and slow down and make sure that we’re watching our speed closer.”

 

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Utah Highway Patrol issuing far more tickets for dangerous speeds