Troopers report no decline in fatalities during first-half of "100 Deadliest Day"

Courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol

LOGAN — The Pioneer Day Holiday not only marks the anniversary of Mormon settlers reaching Utah, but also the middle of the “100 Deadliest Days” on the road, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. After several fatalities so far this summer, the Utah Highway Patrol is asking motorists to be cautious through the extended holiday weekend.

Lt. Lee Perry said the number of people killed throughout the state is slightly lower than years past. Unfortunately, the number of fatal accidents in northern Utah has not seen a similar decrease.

“So we are actually doing a little better statewide,” Perry said. “As a section, for Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties, we’re about neck and neck. We are right even where we were last year, which is a little disappointing.

“We are seeing more people wearing seat belts, which is encouraging. But what’s sad is, we are still losing far too many that aren’t wearing seat belts.”

Troopers continue to ask motorists to avoid distractions and be well rested while they’re driving. Also, don’t drive when you are impaired or intoxicated.

Perry said this summer, they are also seeing a lot of drivers going too fast. In the last month, troopers pulled the same driver over twice in a three-week period. The driver was clocked going over 95 mph both times, driving out of Sardine Canyon, towards Logan.

“He is not learning from the citations, so probably in the future we are going to have to go to the judge and say, ‘Hey look, this is somebody who just doesn’t get it.’ Maybe the judge will have to take his license away.

“If these people can’t learn how to drive safely, you know the next step is for judges to say, ‘Well I guess you can’t drive for a while.’”

The most recent fatal accident involved <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Gene Lee</a>, a 44-year-old Lewiston man. Troopers report his death was the result of not wearing a seat belt and texting while driving.

Perry said motorist need to also make sure their vehicles are well maintained. Part of that maintenance should include checking tire pressures.

“Those can turn into horrific crashes if your tire malfunctions, separates or explodes. Bad things can happen if you’re not ready for it. We are seeing a lot of tire debris and we’re seeing a lot of people broken down because of it.

“So before you hit the road, check your tire pressure. Make sure it is where it is supposed to be. Also look at your tire tread, make sure you got good tread.”

Perry said if people see other vehicles speeding, or showing signs of distracted, drowsy or drunk driving they should call 911.

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