Protect Mona Drivers.

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As cited by the Utah Department of Transportation, ‘Fatal crash numbers this year continue to climb’. To resolve this tragic problem, UDOT has put into place a strategic direction to combat these numbers, specifically, Zero Crashes, Injuries, or Fatalities, Optimize Mobility, and Preserve Infrastructure. While this campaign is a great effort by the Utah Department of Transportation, it is simply not enough. These measures have not been met at the Union Pacific Junction on Burraston Road.

This railroad junction is close to many landmarks and natural sites, including the Young Living Farms lavender fields, Burraston Ponds, Mona Reservoir, and Mount Nebo. While the community is small, the roads are driven frequently by families, groups, and college students who are not accustomed to the area. 

On average the area has 10 to 15 active trains that utilize the Burraston Road Junction per day. Many visitors, however, assume that it is an abandoned track with no crossing arm in a rural area. Surrounding community members in recent years have petitioned Juab County officials and offices to modify and expand the single lane, popular country road and railroad crossing for safety measures.There has not been any indication that there are plans in progress to make any sort of changes to this area.

This lack of action ended the lives of three college students. On the 20th of June, 2020 around 5pm, Brielle Hatch, Tanner Davies, and Jacob Cottle were traveling eastbound from the Mona Rope Swings when they were struck by a northbound train on the Union Pacific railroad track. Tanner died on impact. Brielle passed away within 24 hours at Utah Valley Hospital. Jacob later died from sustained injuries on June 24, 2020.

As a response to these recent tragedies we demand that The Utah Department of Transportation, Union Pacific, Juab County Planning Commission, and Bill Mills (Mayor of Mona, Utah) take action by:

  1. Identifying popular sites in Juab County and ensuring the highest level of safety in the areas surrounding these sites. In particular, the Burraston Ponds located 5 minutes south of Mona, Utah.
  2. That UDOT displays their commitment to their 3 Strategic Direction Values by:
    - Showing active devotion to the safety of Utah drivers by issuing immediately a plan to prevent further crashes near the site and similar areas with a lack of signage.
    - Optimizing the roadwork infrastructure by committing to put into place functioning rail guards and reflective warning signs at the Union Pacific Junction on Burraston Road. Cautioning clearly to drivers of the railway tracks and frequency of trains.
    - Preserve this area by conducting regular maintenance and routine checkups.

Please honor the lives of those lost by acting on the demands listed above.