UDOT urging drivers to stop passing plow trucks

Mar 2, 2018, 12:33 PM | Updated: 11:24 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY – Utah Department of Transportation plow drivers live for the snow, but they’ve had enough of drivers trying to pass them during snow storms.

Sixty plow trucks were struck during the 2016-17 winter season. And while Utah has had hardly as much snow this winter, eleven trucks have already been involved in crashes. 

UDOT Operation Director Jason Davis showed off one of those damaged plows which won’t be in use for this storm.

“You can just see, it’s just mud just packed in there because he hit the embankment so hard,” he said.

Davis said the plow driver was hard at work during last week’s storm close to midnight in Evanston near the Echo Junction on I-80.

“When both wings are down, it covers 23 feet of pavement and that’s only a two lane road up there and we had a semi attempt to pass him on the shoulder,” he said.

The semi clipped a wing and the truck went off an embankment. The driver is still dealing with head pain.  He went in for an MRI today.

“He goes, ‘If I wouldn’t have had my seat belt on, coming to that semi and stop with this much weight behind me,’ he goes, ‘I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it,'” said Davis.

Stephan Foster is another UDOT driver, who was involved in a crash in Salt Lake City last week. He showed KSL all of the new LED lighting, signs, and reflective tape on their trucks, so they’re more visible to drivers. Even with all of the safety bells and whistles on his brand new truck, it didn’t make a difference.

“No he (semi-truck driver) knocked it right off my truck. It disappeared,” Foster said of the LED light on his plow wing.

UDOT plow drivers hope these crash stories make an impact on people this time around.

“We want to go home and we want everyone else to go home safe at the end of the day. It’s what it’s boiled down to,” said Foster.

“Let our plows do our job. You’ll still get where you’re going if you stay behind them. In fact, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting where your going if you stay behind them,” said Davis.

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UDOT urging drivers to stop passing plow trucks