Tag Archives: Utah Department of Highway Safety

Incident Management adds softness to gritty job

A new friendly face is riding along on Utah’s highways with the UDOT Incident Management Team drivers: A soft, warm, fuzzy face of a teddy bear.

The teddy bear is part of a new program focused on helping those with young children cope in the face of accidents.  IMT drivers are now carrying teddy bears to give away to those affected by a crash, especially since it can be a frightening experience for young children.

A mother holds her child and a new teddy bear while the IMT provides assistance.

A mother holds her child and a new teddy bear while the IMT provides assistance.

 

“The Utah Highway Patrol started handing out teddy bears to young children that had been involved in an accident. It seemed to help the child take his or her mind off the accident and get them something to comfort them,” UDOT  state IMT manager Jeff Reynolds said. “The Incident Management Team has adopted the same program, due to limited space in police cruisers. In its short time, we have seen a meaningful impact on those we have been able to help.”

Reynolds said a citizen donation program is being considered in the future. UDOT and the Department of Public Safety will have more news when it becomes available.

 

IMT Bear 1

A variety of teddy bears and other plush animals await their ride with the Incident Management Team.

The first goal of the IMT team is to make sure those involved in an accident and working an accident scene are safe and then clear the roads for other drivers to prevent secondary crashes. You’ll find them helping to change a tire, putting warning signs up to protect officials at an accident scene, giving a gallon of gas to a stranded motorist, or cleaning up after an accident. After the crash scene is secure, they want to help those in the crash feel safe and get the drivers on their way.

Please remember to give IMT and Highway Patrol adequate room when you see them passing and slow down to decrease the possibility of a secondary accident.

This post was written by Adam McMillan, Traffic Operations Center Intern.

MAKE IT CLICK

The rest of the family was fine

A school year book page tells about the tragic loss of friend Calvin Hansen

Calvin Hansen was a kind, fun-loving boy who always “mustered up a lot of enthusiasm for life,” says his mom Donna Hansen. Calvin died in a car crash because he had secretly removed his a seat belt on a family road trip. Others in the car were not badly hurt. After his death, Donna “just wanted to scream to the world ‘wear your seatbelt!’”

Donna told her family’s story today at a kick-off for “Click It or Ticket,” a statewide campaign to promote seat belt use. Her hope is that by telling the heart-breaking tale, others will listen.

Seat belt advocate Donna Hansen talks to a reporter about the loss of her son Calvin


Utah law requires that all passengers and drivers use safety belts

From May 24 through June 6, local and state law enforcement agencies will be conducting highly visible extended effort to enforce Utah’s seatbelt law by issuing citations to drivers who don’t buckle up.  Utah Chick-fil-A restaurants have joined in the effort by providing coupons for a free sandwich for officers to distribute to buckled motorists with each traffic stop – a reward for driving safe.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, correct use of seatbelts use can reduce the risk of injury or death by 70% but nearly 300,000 Utahns fail to buckle up. The age group least likely to buckle up is young people age 15 to 24.

What the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office wants you to know:

You could be involved in a crash – On an average day in Utah, there are 155 motor vehicle crashes involving nearly 400 people, resulting in 70 injuries and one death.

Seatbelts provide effective protection – Regular seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to protect people and reduce fatalities in a crash. In Utah, unbuckled occupants were 29 times more likely to die than belted occupants.

Take the pledge:

The goal of the Click It or Ticket effort is to educate the public and increase seat belt use, not to write citations.  You can help in that effort!  Find Utah Click It or Ticket on Facebook, take the pledge to always buckle up, enter to win $45 (the price of a citation) and publish your results on your profile and friends’ walls!

Sergent Robert Breck of the Utah Highway Patrol: He'll be watching

Sergent Breck of the Utah Highway Patrol holds a Click It or Ticket Poster