Do Drivers Speed More in Utah County?

Do Drivers Speed More in Utah County?


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Keith McCord ReportingFact or fiction: Motorists driving on I-15 southbound start driving faster as soon as they hit the Utah County line at Point of the Mountain? The UHP doesn't have any specific stats regarding that issue, so we told Keith McCord to get behind the wheel and take a look!

A weekday morning, about 11:20, on I-15, I head south with a KSL photographer. We set the cruise control at 65mph, and we just watch traffic to see who's screaming past us or who's going the speed limit. Does anybody drive the speed limit these days? It seems to depend on a variety of factors-- time of day, weather, etc.

In our very unscientific road test, we notice that here in the Salt Lake Valley, the vehicle flow is pretty close to 65. We drove for several long stretches where the distance between our cruise-controlled vehicle and others stayed the same.

So will things change when we cross into Utah County? Will cars noticeably pick up speed? We kept our cruise control set at 65. What we saw wasn't our imagination. Trucks, cars, SUV's, minivans, sports cars – it didn't matter, our 65 miles per hour pace was probably the minimum speed along there.

Going fast and using a lot of gas! With record high fuel prices lately, you'd think folks would slow down. We checked the website fueleconomy.gov, and it says gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds over 60 MPH.

The UHP says motorists often increase their speeds in the rural areas and slow down when they get close to a city. This stretch of I-15 sort of falls in between, and it starts with a big hill and a long straight-away.

No matter where you drive, if high gas prices won't get you to slow down, maybe this will. Starting next week, the UHP will begin a major crackdown on speeders, just before the Memorial Day Weekend. You'll see troopers every three or four miles along the interstate.

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