WASATCH FRONT – The Utah Highway Patrol is expecting far less Easter weekend travel than they would see in a normal year thanks to travel restrictions over COVID-19. However, even though traffic is much lighter than normal, some officers say many Utahns are driving more dangerously.
It’s natural for drivers to slow down when the freeways get crowded. Officials say when people have wide-open roads, they’re more prone to put the pedal to the metal. Highway Patrol Lieutenant Nick Street says troopers all over the Wasatch Front are reporting that people are coming down with lead-foot because there are fewer cars on highways.
Street says, “One said that he had five cars in one day over 100 miles an hour [in Salt Lake County.] That’s unheard of.”
Modern cars are designed to handle high speeds well, but Street says if anything goes wrong in front of you, your speed will become a serious problem.
“Those are things like a tire blowout or having a mattress fly out of a vehicle in front of you, or a couch, which we see almost every day,” Street says.
The bad news for drivers is that with fewer cars on the freeways, finding speeders is a lot easier.
“Right now, it is easier to spot those breaking the law on our roadways,” he says.
Even though UHP analysts expect traffic to be down this Easter, they still plan on having as many troopers patrolling the freeways as they would any other holiday. Plus, they can still give out tickets while maintaining a health social distance.
Street says, “They don’t necessarily have to retrieve documents and handle them. So, there doesn’t have to be any exchange of items between the vehicle and the trooper. We can do most things through a search on our computer.”
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