NEPHI, Utah (ABC4 News) When it comes to high-speed violations in Utah – just look at I-15 in Juab County. Nearly every day cars are clocked at 100 miles per hour or more. And one of the men trying to slow down those fast and furious drivers – Sergeant Corey Houskeeper.
Recently, ABC4’s Don Hudson joined the lawman out on the road to check out the high-speed highway in person. Here’s this week’s Behind the Badge report.
The speed limit on I-15 in Juab County is 80 miles per hour, but highway patrol troopers say some drivers blow right past that limit.
“My radar indicated you were going 96.” And it’s not just a few drivers who have a need for speed. Sgt. Corey Houskeeper says it happens basically every day. “Just this past Wednesday I traveled from Santaquin to Nephi and I had five cars that were 100 miles an hour. It’s rampant. It happens all the time.”
Sgt. Houskeeper works I-15 as well as a few state roads in Juab County. He believes the newer 80 mph speed limits are a green light to some drivers to push it to 100.
“My perception is when they raised it to 80 we started to see a lot more hundreds. When it was 75, 95 was kind of the high speed and you would get an occasional hundred.”
Now it’s commonplace – UHP tells me troopers have made 159 stops since January first where drivers were clocked at 100 miles per hour or more. And the 20-year law enforcement veteran says so far in 2019 high speeds have contributed to nine lost lives just in Juab County.
“All of them are speed related. Speed and distracted. Speed and too fast for road conditions. Speed and a bad pass. Speed and on a motorcycle cutting into the wrong lane and going head-on with a car.”
Those tragedies weigh heavy on the heart of a man who just wants people to get home safely. “The ability to help people and to be able to know that we make a difference far outweighs the bad side that we experience… That is our main goal out here to find that one thing that’s going to happen. It’s not measurable. We can’t measure the impact that we’ve had. We don’t know the future if we weren’t here and didn’t make that traffic stop.”
Photo after photo reminds us of what happens when they don’t get stopped or slow down. “Safety is our message. We want people to slow down and arrive at their destinations safely.”
That is why Sgt. Houskeeper and other troopers patrol this area.
“My radar showed you at 97.” They are trying to send a message to drivers – to stop pushing it and to stop flirting with possible disaster.
“If their 15 and above – more likely than not – they’re going to get a citation.” “If they’re one hundred and above they own what they get.”
There is much more to Sgt. Houskeeper’s story – like being a volunteer firefighter and being awarded the Public Safety Medal of Excellence and being honored with a Meritorious Achievement. To learn about this most meaningful arrest and why the man he arrested is still in jail check out the bonus material in our WEB EXTRA segment video with this story.
WEB EXTRA: SGT. COREY HOUSKEEPER: Sgt. Houskeeper’s was a city cop in Colorado before beginning his career with UHP 11 years ago. In this web extra, he describes why he got into law enforcement and talks about arresting Michael J. Medina in connection with the death of his 16-month-old son. https://www.abc4.com/badge
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