FARMINGTON, Utah — Drivers beware!
If you forget or neglect to slow down in construction zones, Utah Highway Patrol troopers are looking for you.
They are stepping up enforcement in light of a serious accident last month that left three UDOT workers hospitalized.
Those UDOT workers all wound up okay, but it was all preventable, the result of someone speeding then crashing in a Clearfield construction zone.
“We’ve got to drive home this point,” UHP Lt. Nick Street said. “There are valuable lives on the sides of our roads and they are trying to accomplish an important task.”
It was dark and early in the morning July 21, but the construction zone was clearly marked and there was even a UHP cruiser on the shoulder of I-15 with emergency lights flashing.
The pickup truck that crashed was estimated to be going around 100 mph and the driver was later booked into jail on suspicion of DUI.
But even during daylight hours, UDOT officials say people for the most part are simply not slowing down in construction zones.
“And they’re trying to make snap decisions at the end to weave in and out of lanes and we’ve seen people that have actually hit the barrels right there at the split,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.
Starting Wednesday, troopers on motorcycles are keeping an extra close eye out for construction zone speeders.
“How fast would you be comfortable having a car spin by you while you are trying to do your job,” Street asked. “And take that into account, treat others the way you would want to be treated, slow down for the construction workers in the construction zones, slow down for the UDOT workers out there and our troopers.”
“At the heart of all of this, we want everyone to be safe,” Gleason said. “This is for drivers, this is for our workers and that’s why the reduced speed limit is in place.”
The enforcement will continue at least through this weekend and possibly beyond.
“And those that need a ticket are probably going to get one,” Street said. “But those who are receptive to our education and are willing to make that change will likely just receive the education with the warning.”
A speeding ticket in a construction zone can be a very expensive way to learn that lesson.