Friday the Utah State Senate passed SRC5, a concurrent resolution recognizing the state’s snow plow drivers and the hard work they do. the resolution points out that work done by maintenance crews to plow snow and apply road salt saves lives. This is because those efforts reduce crashes by 88%, thereby reducing both injuries and accident costs by 85%. Several drivers were on the Senate floor as the resolution received it’s reading and received a standing ovation by the state senators for the hard work they’ve already done this winter, and the work they’ll continue to do going forward.
Two bills passed by the state legislature this March will affect transportation in Utah, SB 123, Runaway Vehicle Ramp Requirements and HB 272, Traffic Signal Amendments. Both of these bills help to relieve traffic and make roads safer in Utah.
Runaway truck ramp on eastbound I-70 in Emery County.
SB 123, prohibits a person from using a runaway vehicle ramp unless the person is in an emergency situation requiring use of the ramp to stop the person’s vehicle; and prohibits a person from stopping, standing, or parking on a runaway vehicle ramp or in the pathway of a runaway vehicle ramp.
These ramps save lives by stopping vehicles, particularly semi-trucks, that have lost their brakes or are unable to slow down. When the ramps are blocked by vehicles-not using it for its intended purpose- runaway vehicles are left with very few safe options in stopping their vehicles. Not only is the driver in danger but the runaway vehicle puts many other motorists in danger. This bill will help to ensure that runaway trucks have a safe place to stop if their truck is unable to slow down.
HB 272, provides that under certain circumstances an operator of a vehicle facing a steady red arrow signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street.
Under this bill, motorists may only make this left turn on a solid red light when a sign at the intersection indicates that it is legal. Drivers are still required to stop at the red light and yield to oncoming traffic before cautiously entering the intersection, similar to any turn made on a red light. This bill, although not specifically designed for diverging diamond interchanges (DDI), will make these intersections more efficient and will allow traffic to move more quickly and safely.