SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A much calmer Fourth of July this year as Utah Highway Patrol reports no fatalities so far this weekend. Last year, Utah roads saw 10 fatalities during the same weekend.
As the Independence Day celebrations wrap up, people hit the road and headed home, and that meant congestion on Utah’s freeways – or so you may think.
“We left from bear lake around 4 pm, and it’s been a smooth ride home, we didn’t see a single accident,” said Martin Martinez from Draper.
He and his family spent the weekend at Bear Lake camping and enjoying a spectacular fireworks show.
Even truck drivers took notice of the calmness on the road.
“It was pretty smooth flowing, I mean, it wasn’t too much traffic, a lot less than normal and I figured it’d be a lot worse, but it went pretty well,” added Allan Crow from California.
Many anticipated the ride home from a big holiday would have been a big headache, on the contrary, it was quite the opposite, and Martinez attributes that to a much calm holiday weekend.
“I think people are being conscious of not drinking before it’s time to drive, and also because they may be with family and they want to drive at a steady speed, and there were people who were in a hurry [last year], i think this year people are calmer,” added Martinez.
Utah highway patrol will remain active throughout the night, enforcing the laws as the holiday weekend comes to a close.
“We would just like to encourage everybody to be safe, don’t drive aggressively, we’re seeing a lot more aggressive drivers lately for some reason and that again creates danger for everyone involved. Make sure you buckle up, make sure your children are properly secured,” said Sgt. Larry McGowan with UHP.
UDOT adjusted traffic signal timing and suspended work on Utah highways to accommodate the holiday travel, that in itself could have contributed to the steady flow on the roads. But Martinez also believes, the seat belt law also could have played a role.
“People are more conscious when they can get a ticket and the price goes up, that helps a lot,” he said.