UHP: Winter weather creates slick and dangerous conditions in Southern Utah

Southern Utah

CEDAR CITY (ABC4 News) – As winter storms move from the Wasatch Front into Southern Utah Wednesday afternoon, Utah Highway Patrol troopers urge drivers to prepare for icy roads and slick and dangerous conditions.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories in effect through 11:00 P.M. MST Wednesday. UHP said travel on roadways could be majorly impacted in Cedar City, Beaver, Panguitch, and Bryce Canyon, adding that troopers are not out of the woods yet handling reckless and impaired driving.

Sgt. Jesse Williams told ABC4 News he has first-hand experience of the dangers of winter weather and driving, as one of the many troopers who came close to getting hit this holiday season.

“I was sitting there talking to a driver who had slid off the road because the roads were icy, and I started seeing a semi-trailer come towards me,” Williams said. “It’s not a good feeling.”

Williams asks that all drivers slow down, increase following distance, avoid using cruise control in ice and snow, and be alert.

“We all want to get home safely,” Williams said. “It doesn’t hurt to throw a couple extra bottles of water in your car, maybe some granola bars, have a flashlight and a way to call for help if you need it.”

While the main DUI Blitz was New Year’s Eve starting at 9 p.m., troopers said they’ll still be looking out for impaired motorists, trying to get them off the roads.

“Find a designated driver, take an Uber, take a Lyft, find something else,” Williams said. “A DUI’s gonna cost you a lot of money, gonna cost you your license, gonna cost you a lot of money on insurance fees and impound fees, and you’ll have a DUI on your record. No one wants that.”

Williams said troopers in Section 11 in Iron County and Beaver County have seen an increase in DUI arrests every year for several years. UHP said law enforcement officers throughout the state have worked more than 212 extra DUI shifts this holiday season.

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