Troopers See Surge In Speeding As Traffic Drops Due To Pandemic

Apr 10, 2020, 6:44 PM | Updated: 7:57 pm

MURRAY, Utah – Data from the Utah Department of Transportation confirmed traffic volume is down and speeding is up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers started pulling over more lead-footed drivers not long after the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive went into effect.

“I’ve seen a lot of really high speeds, very egregious speeding violations,” said UHP Corporal Mike Alexander, who patrols Utah County.

He said spotting a driver going 30 mph over the limit has been common ever since COVID-19 started to reduce the number of cars on the road.

“I think it’s given a few people the feeling of carte blanche to travel as fast as they want to in some cases,” he said.

However, nobody is getting a free pass because of the virus. The speed limit has not changed, and neither has the number of troopers.

“Just recently, I had one at 102 mph here in the construction zone, 42 mph over the speed limit,” he said.

In central Utah, a trooper clocked a speeder going 122 mph in an 80 mph zone.

Troopers said average daily volume on Interstate 15 is down by a third in Salt Lake County. In Utah County, it was down about 50% last weekend.

UDOT numbers also showed average speeds were more than 10 mph faster during peak times of travel, when rush-hour congestion usually slow drivers down.

“I had one individual tell me that he was late for work and had to get there, and he didn’t really care if he was caught going fast because he felt justified going as quickly as he did,” Alexander said.

And another motorist: “He thought with traffic conditions as they are right now, he felt it was acceptable,” Alexander added.

To keep the public and themselves safe, troopers were taking extra precautions. They are approaching all vehicles from the passenger’s side and never handling drivers licenses or paperwork.

They write down the information and take that back to their patrol vehicles to run the information.

“It limits my exposure and it limits their exposure,” he said. “We just try to keep things as safe as possible for both parties involved.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
11 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
11 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal

Utah’s youngest kids should be able to get COVID-19 vaccine next week

Kids as young as 6 months old should be able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next week. This is an eagerly awaited opportunity for many parents and an issue of concern for others.
15 days ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
24 days ago
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Charter school asks students not to mask to help ‘normalize’ not wearing masks at school

The American Preparatory Academy asks students not to wear a mask during their last three days of school to help with their 'academic and emotional growth.'
1 month ago
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigat...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Pfizer booster shot is now approved for children 5-11, here’s what a doctor advises

The CDC now recommends Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for children ages five to 11. But, a leading pediatric epidemiologist suggests some parents may want to wait based on their summer plans.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Troopers See Surge In Speeding As Traffic Drops Due To Pandemic