UHP Plans to Stop Aggressive Drivers

UHP Plans to Stop Aggressive Drivers

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Jed Boal ReportingHeads up during the holiday weekend, state troopers plan to take the edge off of aggressive drivers.

More than a quarter million Utahns plan to hit the road this Labor Day weekend. That's the greatest number in nearly 10 years. And the Utah Highway Patrol plans to keep a close eye on driving habits.

This new enforcement blitz is called "Putting the brakes on aggressive drivers." The UHP isn't out to ruin anyone's weekend, but they're after aggressive drivers and they want everyone to make it home alive.

It doesn't take long to spot an aggressive driver on I-15. Trooper Brandon Jones is one of a number of troopers working overtime to crack down on hazardous driving.

Brandon Jones, Utah Highway Patrol: “Right now in Salt Lake County we have an extreme problem with speed related crashes."

And many of those crashes are deadly. The troopers want to talk to these drivers and see if they can change their habits. Troopers are targeting speeders, tailgaters, drivers who weave in and out of traffic without signaling and drivers who don't slow down and move over when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.

Lt. Mike Rapich, Utah Highway Patrol: “Let's get people's awareness levels up. Let's get 'em ready for the holiday weekend. Let’s make sure we don't lose any lives this weekend."

Just how aggressive are drivers here on the Wasatch Front? The trooper estimates that on I-15 the average speed is between 70-75 mph. He routinely clocks drivers at 90-100 mph, and last week pulled over a car doing 127.

Trooper Brandon Jones, Utah Highway Patrol: “You don't have to look too far to see these types of violations. If there was a crash, generally speaking there was a hazardous type violation that set the crash up."

Despite near-record gasoline prices 258,000 Utahns will drive at least 50 miles; many are tired and impatient.

Rolayne Fairclough, AAA: “They're out there, the roads are full, people are anxious to get where they're going and we have a lot of crashes this time of year."

A strong presence can get people to slow it down and Trooper Jones knows that's a big part of saving lives. You'll see a lot of cars pulled over this weekend and throughout the fall as the campaign continues. This is a campaign the UHP is committed to. The overtime is paid for by a federal grant.

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