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KSL investigates safety concerns on busy suburban roadway

By Tania Dean and Mike Headrick, KSL TV | Posted - Dec 18th, 2019 @ 8:58am


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DRAPER — Residents and police said drivers are going too fast along Traverse Ridge Road in Draper, and even drivers would probably agree, they’re going too fast.

After a recent accident and an email from a concerned viewer, the KSL Investigators set out to find out if it’s really becoming a suburban speedway.

The speed limit on Traverse Ridge Road is 40 mph for regular vehicles and 25 mph for semis, but police said drivers typically go much faster.

On Sept. 4, a semi-truck driver was going down Traverse Ridge Road when he swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed his truck into someone’s backyard.

The accident prompted this complaint to KSL:

“Traverse Ridge Road is a road, however it is treated like a highway by many. Most vehicles are traveling at 60 mph on a 40 mph road. Hundreds of road bikers, runners, pedestrians and children at school bus stops use this road daily and it is very unsafe for all.”

The KSL Investigators took a speed gun to find out how fast drivers are really going on Traverse Ridge Road.

The KSL Investigators used a speed gun to track vehicles for an hour on Traverse Ridge Road Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. Photo: KSL TV

After testing the speed gun for accuracy multiple times, they aimed it at vehicles going both directions for one hour. Here’s what they found:

  • 161 vehicles total tested.
  • 96% were speeding.
  • 60% were going at least 10 mph over the limit.
  • Fastest vehicle was clocked at 73 mph.
  • 100% of semis were speeding.
  • Average semi speed was 45 mph (20 mph over limit).

Officials with the Draper Police Department said they’re very aware of the problem.

“We see a lot of issues on Traverse Ridge Road,” said Sergeant Scott Adams. “They mostly have to do with speeding.”

In just the past year, officers have written 518 citations on Traverse Ridge. Of those, 479 have been for speeding – that’s 92%.

“They’re going at a speed that is concerning and that is a safety issue,” Adams said. “And we’re not targeting people who are driving one or two miles over the speed limit. We’re usually targeting people who are moving very quickly.”

Police are concerned about high speeds because of previous crashes.

In Oct. 2016, a head-on crash sent two adults and three children to the hospital. Earlier this year, a woman was injured when her car veered into oncoming traffic. A baby in the backseat was also hurt.

Earlier this year, a woman was injured when her car veered into oncoming traffic. A baby in the backseat was also hurt. Photo: KSL TV

In both cases, police said speed was a factor.

While the semi crash from September was not related to speed, police said they’re still listening to residents’ concerns.

“On Manila and Traverse Ridge Road we are installing a stop light at that intersection because of the crashes that we’ve had there,” Adams said.

Police said they do take complaints from residents very seriously. They even have a traffic committee that evaluates those complaints every month to see if there’s something that can be done, like the new traffic light at the intersection of Manila Drive and Traverse Ridge Road.

While they’re trying to fix the problem with engineering and enforcement, they said it’s ultimately up to drivers to follow the law and follow the speed limit.

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Tania Dean
Mike Headrick

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