The Michigan and Indiana State Police coordinated a combined effort of interstate highway traffic law enforcement over the July 4th holiday in 1977. This program was known as “Operation CARE” or “Combined Accident Reduction Effort.” This program proved so successful that it was expanded to all 48 continental United States in 1978.
During the summer of 1978, three holidays were targeted: Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. During this first national Operation CARE, members of the UHP gathered along interstate highways at the state borders to meet their counterparts in Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Colorado. The routes of interstate highways in Utah which received increased patrol coverage were I-15, I-70, I-80, and I-84. Along with the route selections, information campaigns were drawn and achievement goals selected.
The main goal of the program was accident reduction through comprehensive enforcement of accident causation factors. During the first Operation CARE in Utah, the Patrol achieved a 100 percent reduction in traffic fatalities, an almost unbelievable accomplishment. This program has proven so successful that it continues to this day.