Troopers increasing patrols as "100 Deadliest Days of Driving" begins

Utah Highway Patrol trooper conducting a traffic stop along 1000 West, Logan

LOGAN — Vacationers and travelers won’t be the only ones hitting the roads this weekend. Law Enforcement agencies will be out in force, as this holiday weekend marks the beginning of the “100 Deadliest Days of Driving,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said troopers will be working extra shifts the next several days. They will be watching for drivers who are speeding, impaired or distracted.

“We got extra troopers out working DUI shifts,” explained Perry. “We got extra troopers out looking for people not wearing seatbelts, and we have troopers specifically out also looking for people who are driving reckless, speeding or aggressively. So we got extra shifts doing those, along with our regular duty guys that are going to be out there answering calls. They of course will be looking for all of those things at the same time as they go from call to call, and deal with the various calls that do come up as we’re working out there.”

Troopers report in 2016, 10 people died on Northern Utah’s roadways during the 100-day timeframe. Four of those fatalities were in Cache County and the other six were in Box Elder County.

Perry said the biggest trend in last year’s fatal accidents were people not wearing seatbelts. It was a factor in at least seven of the crashes.

“The majority of our crashes were single vehicle crashes where the person got distracted, looked down for a minute to find a bag in the car, to look at their phone or fell asleep. They then ended up drifting off the road, overcorrected and rolled. People weren’t wearing seatbelts and the end result was death in most of these cases.”

Troopers will be focusing on Logan and Sardine Canyons along with Valley View Highway, where instances of speeding have increased. Officers and deputies will also be patrolling local roads and neighborhoods.

Perry said everyone needs to remember to buckle up, slow down, drive sober, and avoid distractions, like cell phones. He recommended if people see other vehicles driving dangerously, they should call 911.

“When people see something, if they will call and report it, we can get them stopped. Sometimes it’s just distractions, but you know when you’re seeing something dangerous, don’t wait until they crash to call us. Let’s be proactive and let us know what they are doing before they crash and hurt somebody. Let’s get on it and see if we can’t stop it.”

Troopers report that of the 911 calls received, they are finding and pulling over at least 25% them. Of those traffic stops, more than 10% are arrested for impaired driving.

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