Troopers ramping up patrols during "100 Deadliest Days"

UHP trooper Phil Rawlinson encouraging a motorist to wear her seat belt during a traffic stop.

LOGAN — Memorial Weekend marks the beginning of the “100 Deadliest Days,” a time where fatal accidents in Utah and around the country have traditionally increased through Labor Day.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said troopers along with other law enforcement agencies are ramping up their efforts during the holiday weekend, to keep people safe. They will be working extra shifts and watching for people who are not wearing their seat belt.

“Through June 5, it’s two weeks of what we call ‘Click It or Ticket,’” said Perry. “We work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Utah Safety Department. We come out and we put extra shifts out. It’s not only the Highway Patrol but other police agencies. We are out focusing on zero fatality issues. Specifically, during that two-week period, we are really focusing on seat belt enforcement.”

It’s been over a year since Utah’s new seat belt law went into effect and troopers report the number of people wearing them has gone up. Still there are many motorists who are not.

Perry said the recent accident of Utah State Football player Brady Holt, who rolled his vehicle along I-15, is a sad example.

“He would be fine today if would have had his seat belt on, but he was ejected from his car and is now having the fight of his life, trying to recover from that terrible crash. We are just grateful that he is still alive to fight that fight. Far too many people succumb to their injuries because of these terrible things, when they don’t wear a seat belt.

“Worse yet, the thing people don’t understand, it’s not just you personally. It affects your family and if you are not wearing a seat belt in a car, you are 40% more likely to hurt other people in your car that might be wearing their seatbelt.”

During the “100 Deadliest Days” summer campaign, UHP’s statewide goals will include pulling over 50,000 motorists who are speeding and 10,000 motorists for not wearing seat belts. Troopers will also be patrolling for anyone who may be driving while intoxicated.

Perry said seat belts are the best defense when you’re travelling across the country or just down the street. He also explained about other tips that will help keep everyone safe.

“Make sure you have your vehicle maintained and ready to go for the year. If you are hauling a trailer, or you are doing anything like that, make sure you check the tire pressure on all your cars. Make sure there is good tread on there and you have good tires, ready to hit the road with.

“Also make sure you got plenty of gas and check your radiator, so you don’t run out of gas or have something negative happen and impair your trip out there.”

Troopers also remind motorist to not use cell phones and other electronic devices that can be distracting, and don’t drive while tired.

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