Utah traffic fatalities continue to rise

2004 Subaru Impreza driven by 23-year-old Tiffani R. Balling of Kaysville. UHP report the car drifted into oncoming traffic hitting a Chevy Suburban head-on.  Balling was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Transportation officials in Utah say they are frustrated as the number of traffic deaths continues to rise.

Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Transportation officials held a sobering press conference in Salt Lake City Tuesday to review road fatality statistics.

They say 275 people died on the state’s roads last year, noting that the number of deaths has risen for the third straight year.

UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras says about 94 percent of the deaths were preventable and caused by things like distracted driving, impaired driving or not wearing a seat belt.

He says there were just 217 deaths in 2012, the lowest number since 1958. But road fatalities have increased dramatically since 2013.

Braceras says the uptick is “very disturbing.”

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