In 2014, the Arizona Department of Public Safety partnered with ADOT and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to step up efforts to prevent wrong-way motorists on our highways. At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we often see cases that involve some of the key components of wrong-way driving such as impaired motorists and late night driving. Wrong-way driving has occurred more and more the last few years and is one of the most lethal driving mistakes. To decrease wrong-way driving the group plans to focus on the “3 E's” of highway safety: enforcement, engineering, and education. The Highway Patrol is emphasizing enforcement by diligently intercepting DUI's and impaired drivers. Under engineering, ADOT is concentrating its efforts on freeway on and off ramps. They have lowered “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs to eye level, just four feet off the ground, and are testing the use of larger signs as well as red reflectors with arrows indicating the correct direction of traffic. The agencies are educating motorists on the topic of what to do if you encounter a wrong-way driver. Typically, wrong-way driving occurs during the overnight hours in the HOV lane. Often, in all wrong-way collisions this year, these drivers are impaired. Advice for motorists includes:
- driving in the center or right hand lanes, especially during overnight hours,
- expect the unexpected on the road by not driving with distractions or while tired, and
- making quick 911 phone calls when wrong-way or impaired driving is observed with a good vehicle and location description including direction of travel.
These agencies are currently revising the Strategic Highway Safety Plan that was adopted in 2007. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan emphasizes areas such as impaired driving, speeding or aggressive driving, age-related driving, roadway infrastructure improvements, and so on that are varying factors amongst wrong-way motorists.
For current press releases from the Arizona Department of Public Safeway follow this link: http://www.azdps.gov/Media/News/