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Highway fatalities at record low, more work to be done

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SALT LAKE CITY - Are you willing to take a pledge to be a safer driver?

As a state, we've made a lot of progress over the last dozen years to reduce highway fatalities. But there's more work to be done on the road to Zero Fatalities, and KSL is asking you to join in the journey this year.

Highway fatalities at record low, more work to be done
Photo: Zero Fatalities

"The importance of the pledge is just so we can get home safely each and every day," said Stacey Johnson, who takes the message of Zero Fatalities across the state. "I want my family to come home safe and sound. It's time now to set rules and be that example."

Last year, Utah recorded the fewest number of highway fatalities in 50 years, and that's the good news. The bad news is 215 people died, and their families still grieve.

"Zero Fatalities isn't just a campaign slogan, it is our number one goal," said Tania Mashburn with the Utah Department of Transportation.

Zero Fatalities focuses on these five deadly driving behaviors as the keys to safer roads:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Not buckling up
  • Aggressive driving, which includes speeding

Zero Fatalities isn't just a campaign slogan, it is our number one goal.

–Tania Mashburn, Utah Department of Transportation.

"Speed is huge when it comes to fatalities," said Johnson. "In fact, 20 percent of highway fatalities are due to speed."

More than one-third of the people killed in Utah crashes last year were not wearing seatbelts.

"How many of those lives would have been saved if they had just buckled up?" said Johnson.

It's a simple choice that many more Utahns make each year. It's time to take the pledge to avoid those deadly driving behaviors.

"You're actually putting it out there for everybody to see and showing that you're going to be a safe driver," said Mashburn.

Johnson agrees. "Take this pledge, take it seriously, and do it," she said.

KSL will be taking a closer look at all those driving behaviors throughout the year, as well as talking with people impacted by highway fatalities. A good place to start is taking personal responsibility for the way we drive.


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Jed Boal


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