State, national parks anticipate busy Easter weekend, step up law enforcement efforts

Composite image from file photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — With spring break and Easter coinciding this weekend, officials are preparing for an onslaught of visitors in Southern Utah; preparations include additional traffic control at state and national parks and an increased law enforcement presence on highways.

Zion National Park

In this May 2014 file photo, visitors park along the street outside of Zion National Park, Utah, May 2014 | Photo Courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

Zion National Park rangers will be on the lookout for impaired driving over the weekend through expanded DUI checkpoints and increased road patrols, according to a news release issued by the park service.

“Zion National Park’s enforcement is aimed to keep all visitors, local residents, and wildlife safe on the park’s roads,” the news release states. “Impaired driving in Zion is especially dangerous due to the narrow roads, steep drop-offs and sharp turns.”

Snow Canyon State Park

Easter weekend is the busiest weekend of the year at Snow Canyon State Park, with most visitors expected to arrive Saturday and Sunday. In anticipation of the surge of combined spring break and Easter visitors, the park will be implementing traffic control measures at both park entrances.

A temporary entrance freeze will be put in place when designated parking areas and pullouts are full. Visitors should be prepared for long entrance lines with the possibility of up to a 60-minute wait.

Peak visitation times are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Park managers are encouraging visitors to arrive at nonpeak times from 6 to 10:30 a.m. or 4 to 10 p.m. Visitors should also consider carpooling or visiting on alternative dates.

Highway Patrol

Throughout the state, Utah Highway Patrol troopers will be working hundreds of extra shifts this weekend on the looking for signs of impairment, drowsy driving, speeding and distracted driving.

Utah Highway Patrol car, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

“If you’ll be drinking, make plans for a safe and sober ride home,” UHP said in a news release. “Call a cab, ride share, sober friend or family member – never drink and drive.”

Troopers from Nevada Highway Patrol and California Highway Patrol will also be taking a zero-tolerance approach to enforcement on Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, when more than triple the average amount of motorists are expected to drive on the interstate.

“This stretch of interstate I-15 was once considered one of the most deadly stretches of highway in the country,” NHP said in a news release. “With the collaborative efforts of our two agencies we have managed to reduce the number of fatal crashes in this area through enforcement and education.”

Part of that effort will include enforcement of even the most minor traffic infraction, according to NHP.

“The two agencies will target speeding vehicles, move over law violators and distracted driving violations, however all traffic violations will be enforced no matter the severity,” NHP said, noting that enforcement will include air patrol on the California side.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • utahdiablo March 30, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    “Visitors should also consider carpooling or visiting on alternative dates.”…….Here’s a thought, STOP COMING HERE….we don’t want you here….you tourists have ruined our way of life here in southern Utah…..go home

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