Revamped US-6 Will Not Mean End to Traffic Fatalities
The just completed on-line poll we ran the last two weeks in the Sun Advocate points to the fact that an overwhelming majority of those that responded in the positive about Highway 6 becoming a four lane road from Spanish Fork to it's junction with I-70 near Green River.
In the 13 years since I moved to Carbon County I have seen steady improvement on the road, due to the Utah Department of Transportation's efforts to make it safer, law enforcements work to enforce the laws and a group of citizens who have been adamant about getting the state to realize the problems on the highway.
When that dream of a four lane road becomes reality, many people think our problems will be solved. I think in some ways that is true, but I have often found when we fix one problem we create others.
At present too many people speed over the mountain, and it isn't just those from Colorado or the Wasatch Front either. The fact is while many of the accidents on this road are caused by bad passing, those deadly attempts are usually a result of
someone speeding along and then getting annoyed at someone else who is going the speed limit.
Four lane highways usually increase the speed of vehicles, not only officially, but also in terms of what people think they can handle. Passing accidents will certainly decrease dramatically, but speed related, one car mishaps could increase. All one has to do is to listen daily to a scanner about what is going on I-70 between the Colorado State line and Spotted Wolf Canyon, a straight and well maintained freeway, and you will find rollovers that cost people their lives almost weekly. The speed that people drive is the key and as I have said many times before the problem with Highway 6 is not so much the road, but the drivers on it.
Until we can change driving habits and the propensity to speed, I doubt any year will go by without at least a few fatalities on "six", even with an improved highway.