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Police Using Periodical Sting Operations to Curb Distracted Driving

Park City Police Department

Park City Police recently spent a day cracking down on distracted drivers.

Last Thursday, four Park City Police officers on motorcycles pulled 12 people over around town, mostly on state routes 224 and 248. The operation was part of a long-term push to make sure drivers are focusing on the road.

Park City Police Captain Phil Kirk said the department does this every few months in a long-term effort to cut down on the number of accidents related to drivers not watching the road. The police department receives funding from the Utah Highway Safety Office to do so.

“I did some research back about a year ago while we were having a number of auto-pedestrian accidents,” Kirk said. “I found that, statistically, what was by far the leading cause, was really individuals not having a proper lookout for what was going on. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were on the cell phone, but just that they were not seeing what they should’ve seen out there.”

He brought up multiple recent cases that pushed the department to crack down on distracted driving.

During the first days of the 2020 Sundance Festival, a driver hit and critically injured a woman on a crosswalk on Park Avenue. The next day, another woman was hit while crossing Saddle View Way just off State Route 224.

Less than a month later, a van hit a couple from out of town on Empire Pass, killing one of them.

Kirk said his officers do these sting operations as proactive efforts to prevent this type of accident.

“On a regular basis, we’re always looking for distracted drivers, but unless you’re doing an operation like this, it’s difficult to spend the time to find them as easily. So, we felt like this operation would be very helpful in preventing accidents, rather than waiting until they happen,” he said.

He added that he wants the word to spread that police actively look to pull over distracted drivers. He hopes this will prevent some future accidents.

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