An extra 189 troopers will be on Utah freeways this 4th of July weekend, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
“The Fourth of July weekend accounts for the highest average of deaths per day due to drunken driving, and unbuckled drivers and passengers of any of the year’s holiday weekends in Utah,” says UHP Colonel Michael Rapich. “Over the past 10 years, two-thirds of all deaths on the freeways over the July Fourth weekend have involved intoxicated drivers or unrestrained occupants.”
The Memorial Day weekend marked the start of what the UHP refers to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” or the time when the majority of fatal crashes happen. Rapich said Utah got off to a rough start during the first two weeks of that season.
There have been 38 people killed on Utah’s freeways since the Memorial Day Weekend, and 126 for the year.
“What really is a big problem is when you see one person who needs to be going faster than everyone else,” Rapich said. “I hope everybody knows, we’re making no secret about it, that we’re putting unmarked cars out there on the Wasatch Front to look for those drivers specifically.”
The AAA will also be offering its Tipsy Tow program again on July 4. If a person feels they are too drunk to drive, the AAA will send a tow truck to take the driver and his car anywhere in the valley up to 10 miles away. The reason AAA-Utah began the program, AAA-Utah spokeswoman Roylane Fairclough said, was because “people would take a chance driving because they didn’t want to go get their car the next day.”