UHP on Lookout for Dangerous Holiday Drivers

UHP on Lookout for Dangerous Holiday Drivers


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Sandra Yi reportingUtahns this weekend make the great escape.

Early Friday afternoon the roads were packed with cars heading somewhere for the holiday weekend.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "THAT'S WHAT YOU LIKE TO SEE, WITH THE KIDS BUCKLED UP IN THE CAR SEATS, THE PARENTS THE SAME WAY."

But troopers say not everyone practices safety.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "IT'S JUST AMAZING. PEOPLE COME RIGHT BY YOU AND DON'T HAVE A CLUE. HE'S ALREADY UP TO 80 IN THIS TRAFFIC."

Minutes after getting on I-15 Friday afternoon, Sergeant Ted Tingey tickets the driver of a car caught speeding in heavy traffic.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "THE REASON I STOPPED YOU IS YOUR SPEED. DID YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE HOW FAST YOU WERE GOING?"

The Utah Highway Patrol is out in force in an effort to keep the roads safe.

They're targeting speeders, drunk drivers and people not wearing seat belts.

Troopers say travelers need to keep in mind that crashes can happen to anyone.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "THEY GET THE MIND SET 'IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME.' IT'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMEBODY ELSE."

Even the most cautious drivers need to be prepared for anything.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "HOLY SMOKES, WHAT IS THAT?"

Friday afternoon, for example, a leather couch in the road stopped traffic and forced drivers to make a sudden stop.

A quick thinking driver pushed it out of the way and into the shoulder with his van.

An hour earlier, a motor home caught on fire on I-15 in Farmington, slowing traffic for miles. No one was hurt, but crews closed three lanes of traffic.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "PEOPLE DRIVE EXPECTING NOTHING'S GOING TO HAPPEN AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN AND IF YOU'RE FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE AND NOT ALLOWING ENOUGH DISTANCE, YOU'RE GOING TO END UP CRASHING."

That's what happened to the driver of a car who rear-ended an SUV.

Troopers say, unfortunately, it happens all the time. And they say on a busy travel weekend like this one, chances are someone won't make it home from the holiday.

Sgt. Ted Tingey/Utah Highway Patrol: "WE'D LIKE TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE WEEKEND WITH NO FATALITIES WHATSOEVER. BUT USUALLY THE ODDS ARE AGAINST US THAT THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN."

Troopers will be conducting DUI saturations Friday night and Saturday throughout the Valley.

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