Police departments urge caution after uptick in auto-pedestrian crashes

Apr 28, 2022, 7:50 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Statistics show that a 13-year-old boy who died in West Jordan Tuesday was the fourth person in Utah to be killed on a bike in the month of April.

Those numbers are leading Bike Utah to increase their awareness campaign.

“Yeah, I am excited to see this investment of healthy living in our community,” said Jenn Oxborrow with Bike Utah.

With temperatures increasing across the state, we will see more and more people outside and on bikes.

“I am feeling increasingly concerned for our overall view of safety for each other,” Oxborrow said.

Bike Utah has very real concerns as they’ve seen more and more bikers getting hit by cars.

They’re hoping to get the message out early that people need to pay more attention on the roads.

“It’s really scary how much more intoxicated drivers we are seeing, and they’re leaving the scene,” Oxborrow said.

The Utah Department of Public Safety has data that shows 29% of Utah road fatalities involve people who are not in a vehicle.

“So, when you’re driving, focus on driving and do that one thing really well,” said Melody Cutler, public information officer with the Unified Police Department.

UPD officials say that aligns with a trend they’ve seen of more people getting hit by cars.

In 2020, there were 105 cars that hit people. It went up to 112 in 2021.

This year, they’ve seen 31 so far.

“Take that and say it’s a quarter of the year, then that equals up to 120. And we aren’t even in the summer months yet,” Cutler said. “Those 31 people were hit during winter months. ”

Bike Utah educates bikers on safety all the time, but they say it’s time for drivers to start behaving better.

“Definitely not sending the right message if people are acquiring a long list of driving infractions,” Oxborrow said.

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Police departments urge caution after uptick in auto-pedestrian crashes