SALT LAKE CITY — In the coming weeks, as many as seven new Utah Highway Patrol troopers will join the motorcycle division to begin patrolling our highways. Among the seven is UHP’s first female motor trooper to successfully graduate from training.
“I just kind of reached out and was like I’ll give it a shot I guess so what happens it kind of just worked out,” said Trooper Kate Van Roosendaal, who grew up riding dirt bikes with her family. “It’s a cool experience I guess but I don’t want it to take away from the hard work that others had to do for sure, all the guys definitely had to go through the same experience that I did but it’s a really cool thing.”
Tpr. Van Roosendaal expressed interest in the program, passed pre-screen tests and most recently graduated from motor school. For the next few weeks, she’ll train with another colleague before hitting the road to patrol on her own.
UHP has used motorcycles since 1923. Over the years, other women had expressed interest in the program but weren’t able to graduate from motor school.
“I had bruises from my mid-thigh all the way down to the bottom of my feet, from the whole entire experience and so it was definitely like, keep going, keep going, keep going,” said Tpr. Van Roosendaal about the grueling two-week training. “It’s a challenging thing and you just have to have the mental strength push through the entire class.”
Trp. Van Roosendaal expects drivers to be a little caught off-guard when they see her hop off her motorcycle during a traffic stop, however, she hopes to join the rest of division in trying to keep our roads safe as we approach the ‘100 deadliest days’.
“I really hope it inspires other females to apply to Highway Patrol and try and be on motors with me,” said Tpr. Van Roosendaal “I need more females to come ride with me.”