SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – This year, there have been two fatalities on Utah highways due to accidents involving wrong-way drivers, according to Sgt. Cameron Roden, the Public Information Officer for Utah Highway Patrol.

“Over the last little while, we have seen an increase of these events happening. And not only have they been happening more frequently. They were also happening and were very deadly, we saw some very tragic situations come out of some of these incidents,” said Sgt. Roden.

The task force was created to help law enforcement understand and define wrong-way driving, and to mitigate the problem. The task force defined wrong-way driving to be drivers going the opposite direction on a divided highway, not just crossing over the center line.

This definition helped narrow down the number of wrong-way drivers. But even with this change, UHP is still seeing a high number of these incidents.

“So far this year Utah Highway Patrol has handled 12 wrong-way crashes, while statewide we’re sitting at 14,” said Sgt. Roden.

He said determining the magnitude of the problem was the first step. The task force will now move forward to find solutions to mitigate the number of wrong-way drivers.

“If we keep at the pace that we’re at, we’re definitely going to well out due the prior years,” Roden said.