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Park City Police Department To Crack Down On Distracted Drivers

The Park City Police Department is trying to put an end to distracted driving. That's why this Thursday to Monday they’re teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to look out for people texting and driving.  



Phil Kirk with the police department said they’re always on the lookout for distracted drivers, but during the four days they’ll have officers specifically designated to make sure drivers aren’t using their phones.

He said the department is focusing on enforcement after several serious accidents this year. 

“I believe 17 accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists since the beginning of the year; one of them was fatal,” Kirk said. “We're very concerned about not only the wildlife, but also people walking along the roadways, or some of them actually even walking in the crosswalk.  “

He said drivers have an increased risk of getting into an accident when they’re distracted.

“The research has shown that you're 50% more likely to miss things that you should be seeing through your windshield because it's very difficult for people to drive and talk on the cell phone and have the attention they need,” he said.  

Kirk also gave some advice to keep drivers safe.  

“If you're getting a phone call or text message, we would like you to pull over and park in a safe location and then respond or get a text message at that point,” he said. “You might even have a designated texter if you have another person in the vehicle. We'd like to see people putting away their cell phone just as automatic as putting on their seatbelt when they get in the vehicle.”

Under Utah code, distracted drivers can get a class C misdemeanor for texting and driving, but Kirk said law enforcement generally issues citations.


Jessica joins KPCW as a general assignment reporter and Sunday Weekend Edition host. A Florida native, she graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in English — concentrating in film studies — and journalism. Before moving to Utah, she spent time in Atlanta, GA.
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