2016 on track to be the deadlist year for drivers since 2007

Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 19:36:44-04

Sgt. Tyler Jussel is on patrol, keeping an eye for people behaving badly on interstate 84. With millions traveling this holiday weekend, Idaho State police along with state troopers in Oregon and Utah are keeping a close eye on the busy corridor.

"To have extra law enforcement on the roads to make sure people are safe this holiday weekend," explained Sgt. Tyler Jussel of Idaho State Police.

Idaho State Police reports 165 lives have been lost on Idaho roads since January 1st, 82 alone this summer.  A 16% increase compared to last year. The National Highway Safety Administration and the National Safety Council says 2016 is on track to be the deadliest year for those on the road since 2007. The main reason, more people are hitting the road and putting themselves at risk. A stronger economy and lower gas prices are fueling people's urge to head out on the open road.

"Labor day these are lowest gasoline prices acutely going back to 2004," explained Dave Carlson of Idaho AAA.  

But Sgt. Jussel says it's not just sheer numbers, he's seeing more and more people driving distracted. People looking at their phones and not the road. The National Safety Council estimates 1 in 4 crashes involve a cell phone. Sgt. Jussel says it needs to stop.

"Focus on driving especially when it comes to distracted driving we want people to focus on their sole mission which is driving a vehicle if they're a driver," said Sgt. Jussel

With ISP out in full force on I-84 this holiday, they hope everyone will live to celebrate Labor Day next year.