SALT LAKE CITY — In 2012, Utahns logged millions of miles on Utah's thousands of roadways. Sadly though, more than 200 of our neighbors never made it home alive.
Considering that number is down significantly from 2011, and the lowest total since 1959, Utah transportation officials could be feeling good — but they're not.
"Even 200 fatalities is a lot of fatalities, and we really want to decrease that to zero," said Tania Mashburn, spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Transportation.
That's why for 2013, KSL News is in the driver's seat on the Road to Zero Fatalities.
"Road to Zero Fatalities is a program where KSL, UDOT and Zero Fatalities are partnering together in an effort to reduce fatalities on Utah's roads," said Tanya Vea, executive vice president of news at KSL.
"Zero Fatalities has been great at launching a campaign and trying to educate the public. We just want to give them a bigger microphone."
"If you ask yourself what is an acceptable (number of fatalities) for your family, your friends, or those people you care about, everyone is going to say zero," Mashburn said. "So we have to make that our goal. It's the only goal that's acceptable."
Crashes will happen, but the great majority of auto-related deaths simply don't have to.
"The most dangerous behaviors that are killing people on Utah's roads: drowsy driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving, and then the biggest one is actually not buckling up," Mashburn said. "So we're really trying to educate people about avoiding those behaviors, and then buckling their seat belt."
"Zero Fatalities has been great at launching a campaign and trying to educate the public," Vea said. "We just want to give them a bigger microphone."
"You'll be able to see the content throughout all our platforms," Vea added. "It will be on KSL TV, KSL Radio (and) ksl.com. We've made a commitment as a KSL group to this initiative."
"We're really excited for our partnership with KSL, so that we can help bring and share this important information that will help you, help your friends, help your family and everyone around you stay safe and alive," Mashburn said.