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Citations up for Utah drivers speeding 100 mph or more

FILE -- A Utah Highway Patrol trooper searches information on his computer on I-15 in Utah County on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Utah has a speeding problem. It’s not just 10 or 15 miles an hour over the speed limits, but apparently many drivers in the Beehive State are speeding in excess of 100 mph, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

UHP Col. Mike Rapich, on with Dave and Dujanovic Wednesday morning, said troopers cited 5,139 drivers for speeding in excess of 100 mph in Utah in 2020, well over the number of citations issued in 2019.

Rapich said the big number of speeders is surprising, considering the lower volume of traffic on the roads during the pandemic.

“When we see that kind of an increase in the face of a tremendous overall traffic-volume reduction, it really is concerning,” said Rapich.

Utah speeding up — even with fewer cars on the road

The UHP said during the past Christmas holiday alone, they cited 104 drivers across Utah for speeding — at least 100 mph or faster. 

Rapich said it’s not just just a big spike in speeding that’s alarming about 2020, but violations including DUI and trooper pursuits are way up in Utah as well.

“Our DUI arrests in 2020 compared to 2019 were up about 300 from the previous year, just the ones handled by UHP. We did about 3,000 in 2019. In 2020, we were almost 3,300,” according to Rapich.

Not just Utah

He said bad driving is not unique to Utah. All 50 states are seeing big spikes in moving violations in 2020 despite fewer cars on the road. 

The California Highway Patrol reported its officers had stopped 15,000 drivers going over 100 mph just during summer months of last year. 

In Ohio, troopers report a year-over-year increase of 100 mph stops just between the months of April and September 2020.

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