UHP warns drivers as snowstorm hits right before New Year’s Eve

Dec 30, 2021, 8:46 PM | Updated: 10:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY—Utah Highway Patrol has a warning for drivers, as troopers beef up their presence for the incoming winter storm and for New Year’s Eve. They’re urging people to take extra precautions, as dangerous winter conditions collide with busy holiday travel.

Some folks got on the road early Thursday, to avoid any potential problems. Abigail Rosander gassed up in Murray Thursday afternoon. She said she drove down from Logan, and was passing through on the way to St. George to spend New Year’s Eve with family and friends.

She didn’t want the winter storm to mess up any plans.

“We’ve been watching it for the last couple of days, and we’re hoping that we’re able to get down there by the end of the day,” she said.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers also got ahead of the snow, with strategy. Trooper Andrew Battenfield said they were making sure they’d have enough troopers on the roadway when the storm hit Thursday evening.

“We’re holding troopers longer if the weather needs, and we’re calling in troopers early,” Tpr. Battenfield explained. “We are staging in [Parleys Canyon] for those semi-trucks, for those that need to have chains when the weather turns bad, we’ll have troopers there.”

Tpr. Battenfield stressed that drivers need to have the right tires. He said he’s responded to a lot of crashes this winter that involved bad tires and were preventable. He also urged drivers to completely clear their car of snow before driving, carry extra food and water, and keep enough room behind semis that may have snow or ice blowing off the top of the vehicle on the highway.

Extra troopers for weather damage control Thursday, will turn into DUI patrols Friday for New Year’s Eve.

“Judgement is the first thing that goes [away] with alcohol consumption,” Tpr. Battenfield said. “Wet roads, wintery conditions are not what you want to mix with it.”

Some drivers like Brayden Seymour said they’ll just stay in this year as they avoid weather conditions on the roads.

“New Year’s Eve, basically just hanging out with my family and staying inside where it’s warm,” he said.

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UHP warns drivers as snowstorm hits right before New Year’s Eve