ROAD TO ZERO

Eight Utah pedestrians hit and killed on Utah roads in October

Oct 27, 2023, 5:33 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm

WEST JORDAN – As Utahns head into the weekend before Halloween, state safety officials are pleading with drivers and pedestrians to use caution.

On Friday, Utah saw its 8th deadly auto-pedestrian for October. In 2023 so far, 31 people have been hit and killed by vehicles, according to data from the Utah Department of Public Safety.

“We’ve seen a lot of crashes, especially in the month of October this year where we’ve had a lot of fatalities and so we want to raise that awareness for everybody to make sure as drivers and pedestrians we’re working together to save people’s lives,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden said.

Roden was among the local public safety officials who joined a Road to Zero Fatalities event Friday at Gardiner Village in Sandy.

Their goal was to warn as many people as possible about pedestrian safety.

“We all got to watch out for each other, Let’s just make this holiday really great,” Kristen Hoschouer, Zero Fatalities Program Manager said.

Drivers and pedestrians need to share the road, officials said.

Officials say that both drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of keeping people safe on the road, however, UHP points out that pedestrians have much less protection.

“We share the roadways together and we need to work together,” Roden said.

According to UHP, there are two main contributors to pedestrian crashes. Either the driver fails to yield to the pedestrian’s right of way or the pedestrian made an improper crossing.

Along with the auto-pedestrian deaths, UHP reports that so far this year there have been 715 crashes where a pedestrian was hit. Roden said this recent trend of auto-pedestrian crashes has prompted extra Halloween enforcement.

“We are going to be doing some pedestrian enforcement, as well as DUI enforcement to make sure we remove any impaired drivers,” Roden said. “To make sure people are aware that law enforcement is taking this seriously.”

UHP says dusk, dawn, and dark are the hours with increased risk for auto-pedestrian crashes. They say the majority of those happen between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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Eight Utah pedestrians hit and killed on Utah roads in October