UDOT considers Mountain View Corridor safety after two fatal crashes in one month

Mar 13, 2024, 8:00 AM

mountain view corridor sign...

A Mountain View Corridor sign is pictured on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Two fatal crashes in West Valley City in a month have some people questioning the safety of the Mountain View Corridor.

Three people died Friday night at the intersection of Mountain View Corridor and 3500 South. Before that, two people died on February 21 at the same intersection. In both cases, initial reports indicate the drivers ran a red light.

“Anytime there’s a serious or fatal crash, we’re going to take a very close look to see if there’s anything we can do from an engineering standpoint to improve safety,” said John Gleason, the public relations director at the Utah Department of Transportation.

“At the same time we need people to follow the rules of the road.”

Because speeds can increase along that stretch, Gleason said UDOT has added more time between phases in recent years. Accordingly, traffic lights pause a little longer before turning green. UDOT has also added more advanced red light warning signals along Mountain View Corridor.

Accident data along the Mountain View Corridor

Utah’s Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office Communications Manager Jason Mettmann says they looked at data along Mountain View Corridor and found 1,200 crashes over the past five years. At the 3500 South and Mountain View Corridor intersection where the most recent crashes occurred, the Highway Safety Office logged seven fatalities in 15 months.

“Forty percent of the (drivers in) crashes that have occurred since 2019 on Mountain View Corridor have disregarded the traffic signal, which means running the red light,” Mettmann said. “Twenty percent shows the failure to yield the right of way and another ten percent shows failure to keep in the proper lane or running off the road.”

Officials push for good driving behavior on the roads

Mettmann claims the top three contributing factors in these crashes were teen drivers, speed, and distraction.

“To us, that really points to driver behavior,” Mettmann said. “Making sure you’re observing the signs and signals that are out there on the road, giving yourself enough time and distance to make those decisions properly, and making sure you put away your distractions while you’re out there on the road, and focus on the task of driving.”

Gleason agrees that the best way to keep people along that stretch of road safe is by engaging in good driving practices.

“Before that, along the entire stretch of Mountain View Corridor across Salt Lake County there were six [fatal crashes], which is not out of line with what you would see with other major roads in the western part of Salt Lake County,” Gleason said.

“With that being said, one fatality is one too many and we need to do everything that we can from an engineering standpoint to make sure that the road is as safe as it can be. We also need everyone to do their part to make sure that they’re putting away distractions, not driving impaired, wearing their seatbelts, and not driving aggressively–making sure we all get home safely.”

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UDOT considers Mountain View Corridor safety after two fatal crashes in one month