SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Highway Patrol troopers say Utahns are more reckless behind the wheel now than at other points in the year. Officials say speeding, road rage, and distracted driving are the leading causes of recent crashes.
ABC4 rode with Utah Highway Patrol on Monday as troopers cracked down on infractions.
“The reason why I’m stopping you is you’re texting while driving,” Trooper Nicholas Hansen tells one man. “Well you were on your phone while you were driving right, and then back there you didn’t signal, and you about drove off the road two or three times, going around the corner.”
The man told Trp. Hansen, he was sorry. He received a citation for texting while driving, not signaling, and going over the white lines.
Being distracted is not the only thing that will get you a ticket.
Our cameras caught a trio of vehicles going more than 100 miles an hour westbound on 201.
“Obviously when you’re going that fast, any kind of correcting or input you put into the vehicle is magnified, any crash you get into is going to be magnified,” says Trp. Hansen.
According to Zero Fatalities, Utah’s first responders went to 191 fatal crashes that resulted in 216 people losing their lives in 2021.
Another startling statistic troopers are grasping with is 24 of their brothers and sisters being hit while on a scene.
During one traffic stop, Trp. Hansen tells a man, “If you have the opportunity to move over, you need to move over a lane or slow down right, and I didn’t see you attempt to slow down or move over.”
Also on the rise, the number of cases involving road rage.
“They are pretty significant fights and people they are getting pretty aggressive. It’s not just flipping the bird-like it used to be. It’s people getting off the side of the road and getting into fights. It’s escalating pretty quickly,” he says. “Slow down, be careful, take your time where you’re going too. That couple extra minutes isn’t going to do any good if you get into a fatality.”
Every day this week, troopers will be focusing on a different county, and if you want to avoid a citation, all you have to do is follow Utah’s laws.