My trip down to Vegas took me through Real-Life Utah. There were some things that jumped out at me as worthy of note:
They’re combating Fatigued Driving in a constructive way. This is an issue that’s important to me because back when I was a full-time college student and had a full-time job and was writing at one paper and editing another, I got into two of these. I have also long worried about the hours my wife has worked and works and the toll it takes on her alertness. Anyhow, they have designated turn-off spots for fatigued drivers. This is good because if you are tired and pull over, you never know if you’re going to get ticketed (especially in a place that craves order like Utah). Letting you know it’s okay to do so, and where, is immensely helpful.
A good public/private partnership. In addition to public rest areas, they have also apparently worked things out with some way stations wherein they double as public rest areas. I guess the state pays these places some money and in return the restrooms are public, well-kept, and you won’t get hassled for loitering. This is an all-around win and I prefer these places to the actual rest areas and regular gas stations because if I want to buy something, I can (more than at a public rest stop), but I feel under no obligation to (as I do at a gas station).
Petting zoos. How family-friendly is Utah? Family-friendly enough that one of the gas stations had a petting zoo attached. With zebras.
Utah has 80mph speed limits. The signs all let us know that it’s experimental. They’re also heavily enforced. I’m not sure if that’s because of concern that drivers will take that as a license to go over 100 or because drivers already have. The end result is that on the way back, when the speed limit was 75 I drove 80 and when the speed limit was 80 I drove 80. Still, it’s a start.