Michigan seeks to stop wrong-way drivers

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Metro Region engineers are seeking to reduce wrong-way driving incidents between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, by 20 percent.

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The engineers are reviewing incidents in an effort to understand why wrong-way driving occurs. MDOT is working in partnership with the Michigan State Police and the Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center (SEMTOC).

The engineers are studying where wrong-way driving incidents have occurred and the entry points. They examine the area to determine what countermeasures can be added.

“Because of the unpredictability of wrong-way crashes, the MDOT SEMTOC has been tracking reports of wrong-way drivers in an effort to identify frequent locations of wrong-way entry, along with deploying messages when wrong-way drivers are reported,” Josh Carey, MDOT Metro Region traffic safety engineer, said. “These messages on the freeway digital message signs alert the drivers who are traveling in the correct direction of the possible wrong-way driver ahead.”

Other safety efforts include wrong-way arrow markings on freeway ramps, a lane-separator system composed of plastic curb and reflective panels and installing detection cameras.

Wrong-way driving crashes are usually fatal because of the speed, state police Lt. Mike Shaw said. In the past five years, there have been eight fatalities, he said.