100 Deadliest Days on Utah Roads Begins Today
This weekend marks the beginning of what the Utah Department of Transportation calls the state’s 100 Deadliest Days on Utah Roads.
UDOT Spokesperson John Gleason says historically t
raffic fatalities rise about 35 percent between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.
“A lot of what we’re seeing has been consistent over the years,” Gleason says. “We’re seeing about half of our traffic fatalities are a result of people not wearing their seatbelts.”
Now that Utah drivers can be pulled over for not wearing seatbelts as a primary offense, Gleason says he hopes more people will buckle up.
UDOT is launching a campaign Friday to remind drivers to be alert and put away distractions. Safety messages will flash on overhead signs on Mondays, followed by a message on Fridays that shows the number of days the state has achieved zero fatalities.
The department also wants to create more 80 miles per hour speed zones on stretches of Interstate 80, I-84 and I-70 -which may seem counterproductive, but Gleason says is actually safer.
“We want to make a uniform flow of traffic,” Gleason says. “If you have a vehicle that’s going much slower or much faster than the majority of people that are traveling then that creates a speed differential and that’s a real concern.”
According to UDOT’s most recent fatality report, 89 people have lost their lives this year on Utah roads.