UHP joins in efforts to increase enforcement along I-80

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 4:40 p.m. MDT

The Utah Highway Patrol and nine other states are gearing up for one of the busiest travel times of the summer along I-80.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol says now is one of the busiest times of the year for travelers.

And it's not just Utahns looking to hit the road for a late summer trip, but other Americans as well.

In an effort to eliminate highway fatalities, the UHP announced Tuesday it will be joining nine other state police and highway patrol agencies as part of a cross-country crackdown along I-80 from July 24 through July 31.

Law enforcement agencies from California to New Jersey will participate in the "More Cops, More Stops" program. Troopers say their goal is to "ramp up" education and enforcement along the freeway.

In Utah, an additional 125 troopers will be patrolling I-80 over the next eight days.

"We believe that the more visible presence that we have on the interstates, the less crime, less crashes, fatalities we're going to have," said UHP Superintendent Danny Fuhr.

Even though Fuhr said citations will be handed out when appropriate, the goal of the campaign isn't to ticket every car that's pulled over.

"It really is about educating the public," he said. "So rather than getting a ticket, a lot of those folks are going to be getting a safety pamphlet as an educational platform. That's really what this is all about. We want to educate the public on lifesaving measures."

At least one trooper will be stationed at the rest stop in Echo Canyon doing nothing but handing out safety brochures.

July is one of the most dangerous months on I-80 across the U.S., Fuhr said. The leading causes of accident and fatalities are failure to wear seat belts, speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving and drunk driving.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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