UTAH (ABC4) – With the alarming number of deaths seen on our roads this week, Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) is reporting a much higher number of road death this year compared to last year.
Ten deaths occurred on Utah roads just this week with five of them killing pedestrians, and four children fatally hit, according to UHP.
Officials are urging drivers to stop driving recklessly.
“We’ve plead with people, we’ve done so much to try and get this message out to people, to try and get them to change these driving behaviors because ultimately law enforcement can’t do this alone,” said Sgt. Cameron Roden, public information officer for UHP.
The trends amongst these incidents? Speeding and driving under the influence.
Last year during this time, UHP reported 86 total deaths on the roads. This year, the total number of deaths has risen to 105.
UHP said the statistics from the total deaths on the road this year are incredibly concerning. That uptick is also being seen in pedestrian deaths.
“We are seeing quite a dramatic spike last year, said Roden. “We were at 15 fatalities at this point last year and now this year we’re up to 28 fatalities.”
When it comes to pedestrian deaths, within the past week, officials say the deadly incidents have been entirely caused by speed, distractions and suspected DUIs.
“The pedestrians, there’s nothing that they did wrong, this is all on the part of the drivers and the decisions that they made,” said Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) spokesman John Gleason.
UDOT and UHP said they can’t stress enough how important it is to drive safely.
“We’ve seen young children being killed as a result of terrible decisions people are making behind the wheel,” said Gleason.
With the tragic events seen on our roads this past week, officials are pleading for drivers to slow down, put away distractions and drive sober — lives truly depend on it.