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Thousands Hit Utah Roads For Memorial Day Weekend

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Vacationers hitting the road Friday for a long Memorial Day weekend need to do so carefully.

Not only is it the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of summer, but drivers will be dealing with wet roads during their travels.

According to UDOT, the busiest time for travel on Utah roads is from 1 – 7 p.m., and there is expected to be a 15 – 20% increase in traffic throughout the weekend.

“I think a lot of people are excited to get out and enjoy what, hopefully, will be better weather than the last few days here,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason.

Many will be driving regardless of the spotty weather, though.

Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer, and Utahns are ready for it.

With the thousands of people expected on the roadways in the coming days, UDOT officials said they want to remind drivers to be safe.  Authorities are asking drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on road. Drivers need to stay away from cell phones and other devices, stay focused and avoid drowsy driving.

Gleason advised against taking to the road during certain times of the day.

“We should expect to see traffic start to pick up about 1 this afternoon through 7,” he said.  “Definitely through the evening commute, 4 – 6 is when we are going to see many people out on the roads. If you can avoid traveling during those times, you may save yourself some of the headache.”

UDOT estimates an additional 20 minutes of drive time Monday on northbound I-15 between Provo and Nephi, and up to 10 minutes more on U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon.

In an attempt to combat the deadliest days of summer, the Utah Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies in six surrounding states will be looking for those without a sea tbelt during their Click it or Ticket campaign, and officials said they won’t be handing out warnings anymore.  Those caught driving without seat belts will be fined.

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