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SALT LAKE CITY — After three straight years of rising fatalities on Utah roads, Utah Highway Patrol troopers are encouraged by a drop this year, as the state is halfway through the 100 deadliest days of summer.
One big difference: more drivers wearing seat belts after the state toughened our seat belt law, two years ago.
If you think you're seeing more troopers on the road this summer, it's probably because you are.
"Visibility," said UHP trooper Lawrence Hopper. "We are sending troopers out on the roads to be seen,” Hopper said. “We're saying, stop cars, be visible, get your red and blue lights on.”
Hopper said motorists behave better when they see a lot of them.
"They tend to slow down. They tend to put on their seatbelts if they're not wearing it already," Hopper said.
Saturation patrols for DUI and distracted driving also helping drive fatalities down, eight less this year, according to Hopper.
Halfway through the 100 deadliest days of summer, there have been 42 fatalities this year compared to 50 last year.
"Hopefully, if we keep on our mark where we're at right now, we're going to continue to go down,” Hopper said.
They're not taking these numbers for granted. State troopers ask us to do our part to save lives on the Road to Zero Fatalities.