The state of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the addition of new wrong-way sign technologies that will be added to a number of on-off ramps throughout the state. The new technology, which will be installed throughout the course of 2023 and beyond, is aimed at reducing the number of Connecticut wrong way auto accidents that continue to occur across the state.
The number of these types of incidents have tripled over the last year, according to the office of Governor Ned Lamont. With that being said, it is difficult to really identify how severe the problem is because if a wrong-way driving incident does not end in a crash, the state will not be notified about the incident and it will go uncounted in the official statistics regarding the problem. It stands to reason, that if fatalities have tripled, these types of situations have likely increased drastically as well, but there are no official numbers that speak to this.
The DOT is installing new technology on 236 high-risk ramps throughout the state. That will cover nearly a quarter of all the 700-plus on-off ramps that exist in the state. State officials have identified these high-risk ramps using two different criteria;
1.) If a ramp has been identified as one that is in close proximity to an establishment that serves alcohol, it will be deemed as a high-risk ramp and will receive the new technology as a way to mitigate the risk.
2.) The 236 high-risk ramps are also considered high-risk if they are positioned with the on and off ramps side by side which has the potential to lead to a confusion for drivers, especially those that may be impaired.
The new technology that is being employed in the signs will help authorities in two different ways. The first is that the sign will identify a vehicle that is approaching an on or off ramp going the wrong way and notify authorities of the situation, regardless of if a crash occurs, which will speed up the response time for authorities to work to alleviate the situation. The second way the technology benefits in reducing wrong-way crashes is when a wrong-way driver is identified by the sign, lights will begin to flash on the sign notifying the driver that they are approaching the on or off ramp in the wrong direction, these notifications will also be sent to the closest state police barracks.
These signs may take some time to be installed and due to supply chain issues installation has yet to begin. There are two different versions of these signs, a solar powered version and a hard wired version. The hard wired versions take longer to install. Installation targets are toward the end of June and into early July.
Along with pedestrian accidents, wrong-way Connecticut auto accidents have been on the rise in recent years and are becoming a bit of an epidemic for the state. With the installation of these new signs, authorities hope that there will be some mitigation for this problem and that drivers will be more alert to the problem of approaching an on or off ramp in the wrong direction.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a wrong-way driver or any other incident on Connecticut’s roads you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience with your type of situation. Contact our office and one of our attorneys will work with you on learning about your situation and protecting your long-term interests.