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FARMINGTON — A recent string of deadly crashes has the Utah Highway Patrol urging drivers to slow down and take care.
In one of the most recent fatal crashes, UHP trooper Mike Alexander said a motorcyclist was driving much faster than the traffic around him along I-15 near Glovers Lane in Farmington Saturday night.
"Traffic around him and traffic ahead of him was slowing down and coming to a stop," Alexander explained. "He failed to slow down in time and struck the back of another vehicle, at which point he was ejected from the motorcycle and then was struck by another vehicle."
The man died at the scene, and traffic was reduced down to one lane on the northbound side, causing gridlock for about three hours. Alexander said it's just one piece of a continuing trend that started sometime during the pandemic.
"We've seen an increase in fatal crashes contributed to by dangerous driving behaviors," Alexander explained. "There's been a lot of aggressive and reckless driving."
Alexander adds that in many crashes, drivers are impaired, and that in a surprising number of cases, people are not wearing seat belts.
"It almost feels like (there's a fatal crash) daily," Alexander said. "Year to date so far this year, we're at 111 fatalities in the state of Utah, which is quite a bit more than what we had last year. Last year we had 94 deaths at this same time."
State troopers like Alexander are asking people to slow down, pay attention and use some common sense.
"Our message would be to slow down, give yourself that extra time, make sure you're driving calm, and make sure you're not aggressive or reckless in any way. Avoid any kind of impaired driving," Alexander explained.
As a reminder, he adds that a new law is now in effect in Utah that greatly increases fines for drivers cited for going over 100 mph. At over 105 mph, drivers can be slapped with a class B misdemeanor.