OPINION

Bill would prohibit motorists from passing snowplows

Dec 20, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm
A bill sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) would prohibit motorists from passing workin...
Snowplows parked near UDOT Headquarters. A new bill would prohibit motorists from passing snowplows on either side. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — During the winter months, snowplows play at a vital role in keeping Utah’s roads and highways clear of snow and ice. 

To help assure the safety of snowplow drivers and other motorists, a bill has been introduced ahead of the upcoming Utah legislative session. The bill sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) would prohibit motorists from passing working snowplows on either the right or the left. 

Harper says he has had some constituents of his approach him in the past about vehicles passing snowplows in a hurry to get someplace.

“It makes for an unsafe situation for the driver who is passing wrong,” Harper said to KSL NewsRadio. “For the people following and for the snowplow driver because they’re concentrated focus on everything that’s going around and making sure that they’re not hitting anybody ahead. And if somebody comes zipping around them, it could cause an accident and injure a number of people.” 

Think before passing snowplows

Harper says it’s a matter of common sense.

“Common sense says you don’t do it,” he said. “If you do it, be aware there will be a penalty cause you are endangering yourself and many others.”

Harper says this hasn’t been too much of a problem in the past.

“Unfortunately, as we’re seeing, people are not using their heads more and more,” he said.

He says the state is seeing an increase in motorists driving over the speed limit. Additionally, Harper says the state is also seeing an increase in wrong way drivers and unsecured loads. He also says vehicles are also getting too close to emergency vehicles off to the side of the road with their sirens on. 

Last summer, Harper says the transportation interim committee looked at the key problems in Utah and how to solve them. He says this bill will address a couple of those issues. 

He says the bill passed unanimously out of the transportation committee last summer. 

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

 

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Bill would prohibit motorists from passing snowplows