To combat traffic crashes and deaths, Connecticut will use smart motion sensors to detect a driver entering a highway exit ramp from the wrong direction. In addition to using the sensors, the state has also launched a multi-channel public awareness campaign about the dangers of wrong-way driving.
“Wrong-way driving crashes are many times more likely to be fatal than other types of car accidents,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “It’s shocking how quickly the number of wrong-way driving incidents has been accelerating over these last couple of years. Reversing this trend requires a comprehensive approach that not only involves infrastructure upgrades using advanced technology – which we are doing – but also requires a heightened awareness by drivers every single time they are entering a highway. Drivers should look, and then look again to ensure they are going in the correct direction every time they drive.”
In July of last year, Gov. Lamont authorized $20 million in state bond funding for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to purchase and install advanced wrong-way driving technology along the state’s highways and roads. Thus far, the sensors have been installed and are currently operating at seven high-risk ramps across Connecticut. In addition to these ramps, CTDOT plans to install this technology in dozens more locations over the course of this year. Gov. Lamont’s office noted in a press release that future installations of this technology will add the ability to notify Connecticut State Police in real-time.
State Representative Roland Lemar (D-New Haven), the co-chair of the Transportation Committee, said, “We must embrace new crash prevention technologies and incorporate best practices from across the country to reduce the frequency of deadly wrong-way highway collisions,” said State Rep. Roland Lemar, co-chair of the Transportation Committee. “The alarming increase in these types of crashes demand immediate action and I am grateful to the CTDOT and Governor Lamont for their leadership on this issue.”
The public awareness campaign, which will feature spots distributed via television, radio, digital, and billboards, is funded by previously allocated money CTDOT received from the Federal Highway Administration.
“Connecticut is currently being defined by the rapidly rising number of wrong-way driver accidents and deaths,” said State Rep. Kathy Kennedy, ranking member of the Transportation Committee. “With a focused investment in driver education and infrastructure improvements, we can reduce wrong-way driving accidents in Connecticut. Together, we can establish these safe driving practices and make our drivers more confident in returning home safely.”