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To the editor:

Our family just completed a mini-vacation to the Salt Lake-Provo area. I felt obligated to write concerning Utahns' poor driving habits and lack of consideration for others.I am a safety director for a major charter bus company in Carson City, Nev. It is my job to hire and train drivers to drive tour buses, as well as investigate accidents and complaints from motorists. Additionally, I have driven for Greyhound, have a minor in driver education and a master's degree in safety. Therefore I feel that I am qualified to make a critical evaluation of the actions of drivers on I-15, I-215 and I-80 in the Ogden, Salt Lake City and Provo areas.

In the short time that we were visiting Utah, we witnessed some of the most obnoxious behavior behind the wheel that I have ever seen in the Salt Lake area (we once lived in Utah for four years).

Excessive speeding and unsafe actions are so far out of hand that certain areas on I-15 have taken on the appearance of a war zone.

Obscene gestures and the display of hatred that are all too frequently displayed on the roadways by Utah drivers (just because someone chooses not to drive 80 mph in a 55-mph speed zone) does not lend itself to a good Christian image.

I would like to recommend that the good people of Utah (especially in the greater Salt Lake area) do three things to solve this problem:

1. Look at the problem that is being generated by poor driving habits. Are the few seconds saved by unsafe actions worth the price that a family will suffer when a needless death occurs?

2. Take a good look at your attitude behind the wheel. Are they in harmony with the teachings that prevail in the dominant religion of Utah?

3. If the people of Utah really believe in the love and concern for others that they profess, the people of Utah need to solve the problem by insisting on increased funding for the Utah Highway Patrol as well as to begin acting like Christians on the road, as well as in church.

Richard B. Popovich

Carson City, Nev.