ROAD TO ZERO

UHP: increasing rate of autoped crashes is unacceptable and preventable

Sep 13, 2023, 8:02 PM | Updated: 8:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITYWe all learned the basic driving behaviors in driver’s ed; avoid distractions, never drive impaired, come to a complete stop, wait until a pedestrian has fully crossed the road, and don’t exceed posted speed limits. Lately, drivers are taking those laws as suggestions. 

“So they are disobeying those signs and signals and not giving pedestrians enough time to cross safely,” Jason Mettmann with the Utah Highway Safety Office said. “Pedestrians are also at fault sometimes in these crashes and often we’re seeing that with our children crossing the road.” 

In the last month alone, Utah saw 89 pedestrian-related crashes. Two of them were fatal. 

Mettmann called it unacceptable.

“It was in last five years the largest age group that we’ve seen are 12 and under that are involved in these pedestrian crashes. Our parents really need to have a conversation with those kids that are using the roadways and make sure that they’re seen to be safe,” He said.

He added that while the number of pedestrian-involved crashes is slightly elevated this year, compared to years past, it’s the severity of those crashes that is a concern as the fatality rate climbs. 

“We cannot enforce our way out of this problem. We can’t – there are not enough officers on the road and we can’t make enough contacts to stop this problem. We’re going to catch some people out there with poor behavior, but we can’t get them all,” Mettmann said. “This is your decision to make sure that you’re out there using the road safely.”

As we get closer to the month of October you may start to notice more law enforcement out and about making sure that both pedestrians and drivers are doing everything they can to share the road safely.

But like you heard today, it takes both parties in order to make that happen.

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UHP: increasing rate of autoped crashes is unacceptable and preventable