UHP striving for zero fatalities over holiday weekend

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With the holiday weekend fast approaching, Utah Highway Patrol is warning drivers that officers will be out in full force to help keep the roads safer.

Robert Hull, UDOT safety manager, says that troopers are concerned that there have already been more road fatalities this year than by this point in 2011. There have already been 75 fatalities this year, compared to the 72 Utah saw by May of last year.

There is a lot of construction going on throughout the state, and it is important that drivers be aware of these spots and take caution. So far this year, two people have died in construction zone areas.

While most construction work will be put on hold because of the holiday, a number of orange barrels and some lane restrictions will still be in place. Some lanes will be narrow and there will be spots with slower speed limits as well.  

UHP is stepping up its enforcement. They will dedicate a lot of hours to patrolling highways and surface streets, making sure people are obeying the rules of the road and wearing their seat belts.

Last year, one life was lost on Utah roads over the Memorial Day weekend. UHP troopers said that is still one too many.

"We want to focus this weekend on making it a zero fatality holiday weekend for Memorial Day," said Corporal Todd Johnson, UHP. "If we do everything properly in our vehicles, we're safe. If the equipment is in order, we are driving properly, we can make it a zero fatality for us and our families."

Troopers encourage travelers to allow some extra time for getting around, buckle up and obey speed limits. Avoid distractions and remain aware of what's going on along the roadway.

For more details, visit UDOT's website: udot.utah.gov.

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