SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut launched a public awareness campaign to address the dangers of wrong-way driving.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto kicked off the “One Wrong Move” campaign, which officials said is funded by previously allocated money the DOT received from the Federal Highway Administration.
Data shows wrong-way driving crashes in Connecticut tripled in 2022, including 13 wrong-way crashes that resulted in 23 deaths, compared to four wrong-way crashes in 2021 and two in 2020. According to the state, studies have shown that wrong-way driving crashes are 100 times more likely to be fatal than other types of crashes.
The DOT recently installed new technology that senses when a driver enters from the wrong direction and produces flashing signals to alert them. The technology is at several high-risk ramps across the state, including:
- Colchester on Route 2 at Exit 17 eastbound;
- Groton on I-95 at Exit 88 southbound;
- Milford on I-95 at Exit 34;
- Montville on I-395 at Exit 6 northbound;
- Southington on I-84 at Exit 28 westbound, Exit 29 westbound, Exit 32 westbound, and Exit 32 eastbound;
- Windsor on Route 291 at Exit 5 westbound; and
- Norwich on I-395 at Exit 24 southbound
The DOT plans to install dozens more this year at the following locations:
- East Hartford on I-84 at the westbound HOV exit;
- Groton on I-95 at Exit 87 southbound;
- Meriden on Route 691 at Exit 8 eastbound;
- New Britain on Route 9 at Exit 25 northbound; and
- Windsor on Route 91 at the northbound HOV exit, Exit 42 northbound, and Exit 42 southbound.
This technology will add the ability to notify Connecticut State Police in real time. The DOT is also exploring additional mitigation measures, such as in-laid pavement reflectors.
Anyone encountering a wrong-way driver should call 9-1-1 and report the location as soon as it’s safe.
If a driver discovers they have entered a highway going in the wrong direction, they should immediately pull into the breakdown lane and change their direction when it is safe.