UHP and UDOT Urge Motorists to Drive off Freeway after a Minor Crash
Pulling into the shoulder causes major delays — the equivalent of blocking a lane of freeway traffic
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 15, 2016) — The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) are urging drivers to drive off the freeway after minor fender benders. These types of crashes can cause major delays on the freeway and create safety issues.
After a typical crash on a six-lane freeway where the involved vehicles pull onto the shoulder, traffic will still back up as if two lanes of the freeway were blocked, according to UDOT traffic operations engineers. If the vehicles don’t pull onto the shoulder and instead block a full lane of traffic, that causes delays equal to blocking three lanes.
“Even the most minor crashes can cause major delays,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said. “Ideally if you can drive your car, please pull off at the next exit.”
Of the 13,706 crashes investigated by the UHP this year, just 38 percent have moved off the freeway, according to UHP Col. Michael Rapich.
The UHP is doing everything it can to clear crashes and get them off the roadway so traffic can flow smoothly, but they need the public’s help.
“Do everyone a favor, and move your car,” Rapich said. “Call 9-1-1, and listen to what the dispatcher tells you. They’ll help keep you safe and make sure to send help your way.”
By calling 9-1-1, that starts the office reporting process, so drivers need not worry about leaving the scene of an accident.
Keeping your car on the freeway after a crash can be dangerous as well. It’s even more dangerous if drivers exit their vehicles and stand on the interstate. Rapich and Gleason said if a vehicle is disabled and unable to move to the next exit, drivers and passengers should stay in the vehicle with their seatbelts fastened.
“With winter approaching, the chance for a secondary crash is extremely high,” Gleason said. “You’re basically a sitting duck if you get out of your vehicle. Stay safe, buckled up in your car, and call 9-1-1 for help.”
UDOT and UHP both have tools to remove disabled vehicles from the road. UDOT’s Incident Management Team has five trucks equipped with stingers to pull disabled vehicles off the interstate, and UHP troopers utilize push bumpers to remove disabled vehicles off the roadway.
Sgt. Todd Royce
Public Information Officer, Utah Highway Patrol email@example.com
Zero Fatalities Seeking Utah’s Top Teen Talent for 2017 Super Bowl Spot
Teens can submit videos about traffic safety for the chance to win coveted airtime during the Big Game
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 10, 2016) – UDOT’s Zero Fatalities program is calling on Utah teens to submit their best safety video for a chance to have it air during the 2017 Super Bowl. Teens throughout the state are encouraged to submit a 25-second video from now until January 6, 2017, on the Zero Fatalities website.
All entrants will receive five movie ticket vouchers for entering. Entrants submitting before December 10, 2016 will receive five movie tickets to a private, opening-weekend showing of Star Wars: Rogue One, at Jordan Commons, while tickets last.
The winning video will air during the Super Bowl telecast in February.
“When it comes to traffic safety, the most influential spokesperson for teens are their peers,” said Kristen Hoschouer, manager of the Zero Fatalities program for the Utah Department of Transportation. “The aim of this contest is to get teens to pay attention to the very important and serious issue of increasing teen driving safety, while also building a network of teen traffic-safety advocates who understand that zero teen fatalities is the only acceptable goal.”
To be considered, a submitted video must be:
Teen directed and produced
25 seconds in length
Focused on Zero Fatalities and the five deadly driving behaviors. (Note: the video doesn’t have to include all five behaviors [distracted, drowsy, aggressive, impaired driving and not buckling up], but must address at least one behavior.)
Submitted no later than Jan. 6, 2017. Submissions must be made on the Zero Fatalities website, at ZeroFatalities.com/contest/.
Last year, 25 teens died in crashes on Utah roads. As of the end of October, there have already been 26 teen deaths in 2016. More than 60 percent of teen traffic fatalities were unbuckled in 2015. Statistics suggest drivers under the age of 20 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash.
“When it comes to combating the behaviors killing teens on Utah roads, teen-to-teen communication is incredibly powerful,” Hoschouer said. “Not only will this contest get teens thinking about how they can improve their driving, but it will help further the family and community discussion needed to save lives.”
To learn more about the contest, visit ZeroFatalities.com/contest/.
Active Transportation Provides New Economic Opportunity for Rural Utah
Cedar City, Utah (October 25, 2016) – The description of Utah as the “Crossroads of the West” takes on new meaning with a project recently contracted through the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). But rather than the gold associated with the meeting of the rails, adventure seekers are now looking for green to be found along a national system of designated bike routes intended to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific.
U.S. Bicycle Routes 70 & 79 now officially span Southern Utah winding through seven counties from Colorado to Nevada as a UDOT contractor finishes new sign installations. The two routes designated with the new green signs converge in Iron County while rural communities along the stretch are hoping their local economies can pick up some steam from the movement.
Bicycle Route 70 enters Utah on the eastern border west of Monticello on U.S. Highway 491, moves south to Blanding and then veers northwest passing near Natural Bridges National monument, over the Colorado River at Hite’s Crossing, eastward through Capitol Reef National Park, then bending south and west along All-American Road and Scenic Byway 12. The route passes Bryce Canyon National Park before moving to Scenic Byway 14 and descending below Cedar Breaks National Monument. Bicycle Route 79 enters from Nevada near the town of Garrison on State Route 21 extending southeast through Milford toward Cedar City.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) established the United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS) in 1978 and approved a national-level corridor designation plan in 2008. The system has gained input from the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and the Adventure Cycling Association among others. The majority of national corridor signs have been installed within only the past couple of years.
UDOT representatives along with cycling enthusiasts and other interested parties will meet in Cedar City Wednesday morning to view the new signs, highlight respectful use of roads and consider what the new designated routes may mean for local communities and tourists.
S.R. 201 to close two nights at I-215 for bridge demolition
Eastbound S.R. 201 scheduled to close Friday night; westbound S.R. 201 to close Saturday night
Salt Lake City (Oct. 7, 2016) – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for two overnight freeway closures on S.R. 201 in West Valley City. Eastbound S.R. 201 is scheduled to close on Friday night, Oct. 7, under I-215, and westbound S.R. 201 is scheduled to close in the same area on Saturday night, Oct. 8, while crews demolish the southbound I-215 bridge.
These freeway closures are scheduled to begin around 9 p.m. each night, with all lanes reopening by 6 a.m. the following day. Drivers should plan extra travel time due to traffic delays and detours, and consider using alternate routes such as I-80.
This bridge demolition is being completed as part of the I-215 west belt reconstruction project. Crews are removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete from S.R. 201 to 4700 South. The project is scheduled for completion next year.
Also this weekend, crews are scheduled to shift traffic on the I-215 east belt into the southbound lanes near 6200 South. The new traffic pattern will be in place by Monday morning, Oct. 10. No additional lane closures are expected during this time – the freeway will remain with two lanes open in both directions.
For the latest information regarding this and other UDOT construction projects, drivers can visit the UDOT Traffic website (www.udottraffic.utah.gov) or download the free UDOT Traffic app, available for smartphones and tablets. Drivers can also follow @udottraffic and @utahdot on Twitter.
**Time lapse video of the bridge demolition will be available Sunday night in time for 9/10 p.m. newscasts.***
UDOT Public Information Officer
JEREMYRANCH (Oct. 6, 2016) —The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will start building one mile of wildlife fencing on westbound I-80 near Jeremy Ranch on Friday. The new wildlife fencing is the first phase in a long-term plan to reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions in Parleys Canyon.
UDOT partnered with Save People Save Wildlife to expedite the process to raise funding and install the fence before winter.
“This demonstrates the power of a public-private partnership where groups come together to make the community better,” UDOT Region Two Director Bryan Adams said. “We want to thankSave People Save Wildlife for playing a tremendous role in making this happen.”
This one-mile stretch of fencing is funded by $50,000 in UDOT contingency funds combined with a $50,000 donation from Save People Save Wildlife.
UDOT recently completed a study with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to determine solutions to ensure that wildlife collisions are reduced not only now, but long into the future.
The department is now designing the long-term solution, which includes building a new wildlife crossing and installing enough wildlife fencing to stretch three miles in both directions on I-80from Jeremy Ranch to Parleys Summit. These projects are scheduled to start after funding becomes available in fall 2017.
UDOT requested and the Utah Transportation Commission approved $5 million to reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions in Parleys Canyon.
Media Briefing: UDOT and UHP announce Express Lane education and enforcement blitz
Ride alongs and media availability regarding education and increased Express Lane enforcement efforts by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) will be available.
UDOT and UHP are partnering to educate drivers about how to correctly use Express Lanes to reduce congestion and improve traffic.
With the completion of the Point project, Utah now has the longest continuous Express Lanes in the country.
John Gleason, UDOT public information officer
Todd Royce, UHP public information officer
Thursday, Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m.
Ride along with UHP troopers as they educate drivers regarding Express Lane laws.
***Media interested in a ride along should call Sgt. Todd Royce today to make arrangements***
UHP Salt Lake County Office – 5681 South Commerce Drive, Murray. Exit I-15 at 5300 South, turn south on Commerce Drive, continue to UHP office.
UDOT Launches New Technology Making Crosswalks Safer for Students, Crossing Guards UDOT first in the nation to arm local school crossing guards with tool to enable longer “walk” time during peak hours
WEST JORDAN (Sept. 14, 2016) — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) unveiled a new technology Wednesday that allows school crossing guards to add extra “walk” time on a crosswalk signal during peak periods. This increases safety by allowing students more time to get across the busy street.
By using a newly engineered key on signal boxes, crossing guards can now add 10-15 seconds of extra “walk” time during morning and afternoon hours when students walk and bike to school. This increases safety and allows traffic to continue moving smoothly and efficiently throughout the day.
UDOT’s Traffic Operations Center is the first in the nation to develop this technology. Installing the key costs about $20 per crosswalk, plus 30 minutes of installation time for an electrician.
“This is a low cost, easy solution that will pay off with increased safety and better traffic flow for the area, which is UDOT’s ultimate goal,” said UDOT School and Pedestrian Safety Program Manager Cherissa Olson. “We want to make sure students are getting to and from school every day safe and sound.”
Crossing guards who help students cross the busy 9000 South near 2200 West to Hawthorn Academy and Westvale Elementary in West Jordan every day welcome the new technology.
“With all of the traffic in this area, something had to be done to help our students get to and from school safely,” said Cindy Jacobsen, crossing guard supervisor for West Jordan. “This new tool from UDOT gives us an easy solution that will make our jobs easier.”
UDOT to Launch New Technology Making Crosswalks Safer for Students, Crossing Guards
UDOT first in the nation to arm local school crossing guards with tool to enable longer “walk” time during peak hours
Media availability where the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will unveil a new technology that allows school crossing guards to add extra “walk” time on a crosswalk signal during peak periods. This increases safety by allowing students more time to get across the busy street.
Crossing guards can add an extra 10-15 seconds of “walk time” by using a newly engineered key on signal boxes that not only increases safety but also allows traffic to continue moving smoothly and efficiently throughout the day.
UDOT’s Traffic Operations Center is the first in the nation to develop this technology.
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7:45 a.m.
WHERE: Crosswalk at 2200 West 9000 South in West Jordan near Hawthorn Academy and West Vale Elementary
WHO: UDOT School and Pedestrian Safety Program Manager Cherissa Olson
– Crossing guards activating signal boxes to add extra walk time
– Crossing guards guiding children safely through crosswalk to school
Heavy Labor Day Traffic Delays Expected Thursday and Friday
Drivers urged to plan ahead, allow extra travel time this weekend
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 1, 2016) – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises Wasatch Front drivers to expect heavy delays of up 30 minutes to an hour on I-15 during the evening commute this Labor Day weekend. Delays are expected on Thursday between 2 and 8 p.m., and on Friday between 2 and 9 p.m.
On Monday afternoon, drivers should plan for heavy traffic on I-15 between St. George and Provo between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Congestion and heavy delays are also possible Monday on U.S. 6 from the U.S. 89 junction to the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.
Most UDOT projects will suspend construction and open all lanes to traffic to help reduce delays. However, existing lane restrictions or traffic shifts will remain in place where needed to protect the work zone and ensure safety. Some areas where drivers should expect restrictions include:
I-15 between Bangerter Highway and 12300 South: lanes are shifted and speeds are reduced to 55 miles per hour in the active construction zone. Where safety permits, the speed limit has been restored to 70 miles per hour. Crews are widening the freeway to six lanes in each direction and placing new concrete pavement from Lehi to Draper.
I-15 from Farr West to Brigham City: all lanes remain open, but lanes are narrowed and the speed limit has been reduced to 65 miles per hour. Crews are widening I-15 to three lanes in each direction from 2700 North in Farr West to 1100 South in Brigham City.
I-215 from S.R. 201 to 4700 South: all lanes remain open, but traffic is shifted and lanes have been narrowed. The speed limit has been reduced to 60 miles per hour. Crews are reconstructing the freeway with new concrete, adding auxiliary lanes, and replacing the bridges over S.R. 201.
I-215 near 6200 South: the freeway has been reduced to two lanes in each direction, with all traffic shifted into the northbound lanes. Crews are reconstructing the bridge decks on I-215 at 6200 South and several other nearby locations.
In addition, the southbound I-15 Express Lane is closed daily between Layton Parkway and 200 North. The Express Lane will be open this weekend, and is scheduled to reopen each morning from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. for the morning commute, but remains closed all other times through October. Crews are adding an auxiliary lane to make it easier for drivers to get on and off the freeway.
Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. For the latest information on traffic restrictions during construction, visit the UDOT Traffic website (udottraffic.utah.gov) or download the UDOT Traffic app for iPhone or Android. Drivers can also follow UDOT on social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
UDOT Public Information Officer