UDOT Planning to Reduce Speed Limit to Increase Safety in Eagle Mountain

Following Eagle Mountain residents’ complaints about the increasing number of crashes at the intersection of SR 73 and Six-Mile Cutoff Road, the Utah Department of Transportation has said they plan on lowering the speed limit in this area in the next few months. According to KSL News, resident concerns were the primary factor it considered in reducing the speed limit in this area. Apparently, the rising number of accidents alone weren’t enough to trigger the decision.

The current speed limit at this intersection is 65 miles per hour. Thus, when someone pulls out from this intersection where there is no stoplight, they sometimes don’t appreciate that traffic on the road is moving at least 65 miles per hour. A lot of times, traffic on SR73 is going much faster! This leaves little room for error when someone pulls out or responds to someone pulling out.

[SEE RELATED: EAGLE MOUNTAIN INTERSECTION PLAUGED WITH CRASHES

Now, in an effort to calm the traffic, UDOT will lower the speed limit to 55 miles per hour. Residents interviewed in the article talk about the growing traffic that makes pulling out more difficult by the month. From a practical point of view, as the area becomes more congested, you can expect motorists to take more risks when they pull out. The situation is especially precarious for younger drivers who lack the experience and patience to wait until it really is safe to pull out. While reducing the speed to 55 is a good start, I wonder if this move goes far enough. Since UDOT is suggesting there won’t be a light at this intersection for another good 10 years, I wonder if in the meantime, reducing the speed even further in this area to 45 miles per hour, would be an even safer move. But, baby steps. Let’s see how the incidence of crashes is reduced with this reduction and go from there.

Legally speaking, crashes that happen at this intersection will almost always be because someone was negligent or careless in pulling out or in responding to someone pulling out at this intersection. In a number of cases blame can be placed on both drivers involved in such a crash. In Utah, however, the at-fault person needs to be deemed at least 50% at fault before an insurance company will pay out on a claim or a jury awards a verdict. Cases that are 50/50 cases aren’t cases under Utah law.

Ron Kramer is an attorney practicing personal injury law in West Jordan and throughout Utah.