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Sam Penrod Reporting"We've written a lot of tickets, a lot of speeding tickets"
It was a busy weekend for the Utah Highway Patrol trying to keep holiday travelers safe on Utah's roads. Utah’s highways are crowded now as thousands of people return home after a long weekend. But it was no holiday for Highway Patrol troopers who have been running a special enforcement blitz trying to cut down on aggressive drivers.
At Point of the Mountain, traffic was heavy back into the Salt Lake Valley. And drivers headed home will be greeted by extra troopers between there and 7200 south.
All weekend long, extra enforcement shifts have kept 40 extra troopers on the road along the Wasatch Front. And since Thursday night the troopers have been very busy targeting aggressive drivers.
Thirty people were arrested for driving drunk, a total of 563 citations were issued, most of them for speeding, some speeds as high as 95 miles per hour, along I-15. Troopers say they aren't out to write tickets, but some drivers are making the road unsafe for others.
Sgt. Brian Nelson: “We try and use as many troopers as we can in one area so the public notices us and will slow down and drive safe, hopefully realizes we're so every body gets home safe."
But holiday travel turned deadly this morning for a Colorado family driving in Central Utah. A rollover accident on I-70 near Richfield killed an 18-month old girl, critically injured a seven-year old girl and seriously injured five others in the vehicle. Troopers blame the crash on a driver falling asleep at the wheel and say some occupants were not buckled up. The accident overwhelmed the local hospital which temporarily had to divert other emergency room patients coming in to another hospital.
Extra troopers will be out on the road until eight o'clock tonight, hoping to slow drivers down and keep the freeway safe.