SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The start of the 100 deadliest days of summer begins this weekend. As with every Memorial Day there will be more drivers on the roads, because of that, there will be more officers out there too.
A bear, a wolf, and mountain lion surrounded officers inside Scheels Sporting Good today, but none of these predators scared these men of the law more than Utah’s drunk driver.
“It’s really not the rattlesnake or the wolverine that’s gonna kill you, it’s the drunk driver. 32 lives are lost on a 10 year average from the impaired driver and that’s kinda the message we’re sending is don’t drive drunk,” said Col. Daniel Fuhr with Utah Highway Patrol.
As Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start to summer. More people will be hitting the road and heading outdoors, and Utah Highway Patrol is hitting the streets hammering the message to drivers to be safe.
“On average one person will die every single day over the next 100 days which is absolutely tragic. 17% of the population do not wear their seat belt but they make up 50% of fatal crashes,” said Fuhr.
And it’s because of numbers like those, that the highway patrol will be out in full force.
“We do have a DUI blitz that we’ll be doing this weekend for Memorial Day and we’re gonna be out in force looking for DUI and aggressive drivers,” said trooper Kenny Holland.
Adding an additional 200 troopers to assist the already 571 troopers scheduled to patrol the road.
“They’re out there looking for the Top 5 factors that will cause them to lose their lives, which are: speed, DUI, not wearing their seat belt, distracted driving, and drowsy driving. So, if we can be out there enforcing that, our hope is to save lives over the weekend,” Fuhr said.
And seat belts will also be a strong focus this weekend as well. On ride along performed today, ABC 4 was with officers for about an hour, and in that hour 3 people were pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. As the new seat belt law went into effect this past Sunday, officers will be looking at drivers to ensure they’re properly fastened in.
If you’re caught not wearing your seat belt, it’s going to cost you. First time violators will get a warning but drivers can expect a $45 fine for a second offense.