20 people died in 2017 due to distracted driving on Utah roads

Law enforcement is cracking down on the problem

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (News4Utah) -  In 2017, 273 people died on Utah roads; 20 of those deaths were caused by distracted driving, according to new numbers released by Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). 

They, along with Zero Fatalities, said fatality numbers from last year were slightly lower than 2016, but for them, one fatality on Utah roads is too many. 

According to Zero Fatalities, there were 43 pedestrian deaths, 39 motorcycle deaths, and 85 deaths caused by aggressive drivers in the state. 87 people died because they weren't wearing a seatbelt. 29 died due to alcohol impairment. 

20 people died due to distracted driving, and that's what UDOT wants to focus on in 2018. 

"What do you do behind that wheel that's more important than the safety of you and others on the road? There is nothing," declared Carlos Braceras, executive director of UDOT. 

UDOT said cell phones, makeup, electric razors, food and other items may cause unncecessary distractions that could prove fatal. 

That's why they're launching a safety campaign  that focuses on distracted driving. 

Utah Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Todd Royce said Utah drivers will see more patrols on the roads looking for distracted motorists. They will be in unmarked vehicles, and they will issue citations. 


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