For Utah trooper, push to stop distracted driving is personal

Local News

MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) – When Sgt. Jalaine Hawkes patrols, she looks for speeders, law-breakers and other negligent or blatantly criminal activity. Now, she and other troopers are putting a major focus on distracted driving, an act she calls “selfish.”

Hawkes cousin, Jacob Hawkes, was killed in 2009 when he was texting and driving and crashed, rolling his vehicle. He died just a few days shy of his 20th birthday

“It really hit our family hard,” said Sgt. Hawkes, while out patrolling for distracted drivers. Utah Highway Patrol, UDOT and Zero Fatalities launched the “Join the Resistance” campaign just a few weeks ago. Since then, officers have cited dozens for distracted driving. 

“Every single time that you are picking up that phone or picking up your makeup or picking up the food in your car, you’re putting yourself at risk to change someone else’s life and your own in a really negative way,” Hawkes said. 

In 2017, 20 people died on Utah Roads due to distracted driving. 

A powerful Super Bowl ad will run Sunday, Feb. 4 touting the “Resist” campaign. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.