Troopers Cracking Down on Extreme Speeding
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – State troopers are showing zero tolerance for what they call “extreme driving behavior.” They say more and more people are driving way over the speed limit.
The Utah Highway Patrol is taking part this weekend in a multistate campaign targeting those drivers. They’re asking all of us to help them out and slow down.
State troopers typically stop drivers doing 10 mph over the speed limit. Now, they say they’re regularly pulling over people doing 30 mph over the speed limit on the interstates and surface streets.
“A couple weeks ago, I was on I-80 in Tooele. I got someone going 122 mph,” said Trooper Quincy Breuer.
On a ride along today, he told KSL TV he has seen the average cruising speeds accelerate, as well as the extreme speeds.
Trooper Breuer said he doesn’t think people plan to drive safely when they head out the door. They don’t give themselves enough time, and speed to catch up.
As for that driver doing 122 mph?
“He thought he was a good driver, and was safe going at that speed,” said Breuer.
During the first five months this year, there were 31 fatal speed-related crashes on Utah roads. That’s up from 21 fatal speed-related crashes during the same period last year, and a 32% increase over the five-year average.
“We will take zero tolerance on this,” said Major Jeff Nigbur with the Utah Highway Patrol. “We’ve got to stop it.”
As part of the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition this weekend, state troopers are teaming up with neighboring states and 23 different Utah law enforcement agencies.
The UHP Motor Squad pulled over speeders in the work zone on I-80 this morning, where the posted speed limit is now 55 mph. They are trying to protect motorists and workers.
“It can be really honestly scary, and terrifying because you are literally feet away from high speed traffic coming through,” said Becky Stromness, UDOT Project Manager for the I-80/I-215 Project. “It takes just a matter of a second and one bad decision and something catastrophic could happen.”
“Yesterday, or the day before, we pulled over a truck pulling a trailer on I 80 doing 109 mph,” said Nigbur.
The driver told the trooper he didn’t think it was a big deal.
“He didn’t seem to see what the issue was. He felt like he was safe,” said Major Nigbur.
The trooper assured him that if he crashed at that speed while pulling a trailer his likelihood of surviving was poor.
“Not to mention, again, taking a member of the motoring public with him,” the major said.
Troopers regularly pull over motorists disregarding the law because they won’t admit they are magnifying the danger for everyone else.
“It is very selfish behavior, absolutely. It is not a victimless crime. ‘I only hurt myself’… some of the reasons we hear. That’s not true,” said Nigbur.
Troopers and road crews are urging all of us to summer safely: slow down, buckle up, put down the distractions and drive sober.
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