Park City removes trucks from road during August safety operation
The Park City Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol in late August conducted a safety operation targeting trucks in Deer Valley, finding violations serious enough on more than 40% of the inspected vehicles to remove them from service on the spot.
The two agencies on Aug. 26 inspected 27 trucks. Twelve of the trucks were ordered out of service as a result of violations, according to data provided by the Police Department. The police said a combined 25 so-called out-of-service violations, or those that are especially serious, were found on the trucks that were removed from the road. The operation, though, found a combined 116 violations, or an average of just more than four per vehicle inspected. Six drivers were removed from service as well, the police said.
The authorities sprung the operation on unspecified streets in lower Deer Valley between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The authorities have occasionally conducted similar inspection operations amid a series of construction booms over the years. There has long been concern about the dangers of runaway trucks on Park City’s steep roads. Although lower Deer Valley has not been as problematic as other places, it seems likely some of the trucks in that area on any given day could also be headed to or from upper Deer Valley. There has been a series of truck accidents involving vehicles descending from upper Deer Valley to the lower elevations of Park City.
The Mine Road, a section of the state highway system linking Old Town with upper Deer Valley and Empire Pass, is especially notorious. The steep grade of the road, also known as Marsac Avenue and S.R. 224, has been blamed for brake failures and runaway trucks for years. A runaway-truck ramp was ultimately built just south of Old Town, but the safety measure has not eliminated the danger.
The recent operation followed shortly after an August dump truck accident in the vicinity of the Old Town roundabout. The police indicated the brakes apparently failed as the truck was headed north on Marsac Avenue, the downhill direction. The truck hit at least two other vehicles and overturned, the police said at the time of the accident. A tow truck was needed to remove the dump truck.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said he is “disappointed” with the results of the recent inspection operation.
“It still seems to be a problem,” Kirk said about the number of violations that were found on the trucks.
They are “potentially very dangerous,” he said about the vehicles operating with equipment violations.
Kirk said the Police Department and Utah Highway Patrol expect to conduct inspection operations as well as unscheduled inspections more frequently.
“It’s clear we need to do more,” Kirk said.
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The Park City police responded to a series of accidents involving drivers and wildlife, indicating at least one of the animals was killed during a collision.