Traffic lessons from the Riverdale plane crash: follow instructions

Local News

(ABC4 Utah) – After Wednesday’s plane crash, UDOT and the Highway patrol offer some advice to drivers about what to do in similar situations. Hint: it’s not driving back up an on-ramp.

The plane crash on I-15 Wednesday stopped traffic completely going north at 5600 South. Hundreds of cars sat waiting, stuck between the incident and the barricades, and some people decided to take matters into their own hands.

In an attempt to avoid the traffic, some people turned around on the freeway to drive back up an on-ramp and others tried to use the emergency turn-around strips in the center divide.

Officer Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol said, “There’s a lot of times we have officers or troopers sitting at the bottom of that on ramp and we will write you a citation for going the wrong way.” Not to mention the danger of driving into oncoming traffic.

Alternate routes may not be very appealing to drivers because they assume side streets will be faster and less congested, but that may not be the case. Alternate routes are monitored by UDOT which controls the traffic lights. John Gleason is the UDOT Public Information Officer and he told us that the lights will actually be tuned to give the alternate routes as much green as possible.

What if you or a loved one has a medical emergency while stuck in gridlock? Gleason says, “We recommend that you call 911, call our incident management team and we’ll get out there as soon as we can.”

Both the Utah Highway Patrol and UDOT say that your safety and the safety of the drivers around you is the most important thing. Do not make driving decisions that could endanger you or others. 

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