STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– Deadly scenes like the one in Mystic in March 2010 have become all too familiar on I-95 in the far eastern part of the state. Two lives were lost in that wrong-way crash.
In the past decade, several people have been killed in crashes involving wrong-way drivers.
“We need to look at this area. There is something going on here,” said state Rep. Kate Rotella, (D) Stonington.
Just this past weekend a driver was safely stopped by police after getting on I-95 at exit 93 in North Stonington and driving southbound in the northbound lane. A few days earlier Stonington police stopped another wrong-way driver.
“Our great Stonington police took their lives in their hand and had to actually pass him on the highway and cut him off because he still thought he was going the right way,” said state Sen. Heather Somers, (R) Groton who spoke with News 8 on the phone.
Senator Somers and Representative Rotella are now urging the state Department of Transportation to take more action. It has already upgraded signage at 700 exit ramps across the state.
Senator Somers says a study done by the DOT after the fatal crash which killed four people last October found exits 88 to 93 on I-95 met state standards.
“I’ve made it very clear that the state standard is not going to be acceptable,” said Sen. Somers. “We’ve had seven deaths in the last 13 months at this location.”
At exit 92 there is a ‘no left turn’ sign hanging right next to the light. The DOT has said in the past it has also looked at new technology. Some of which would replace the round green traffic light with a green arrow pointing straight ahead to reinforce that drivers can’t turn left.
Both lawmakers say the DOT has agreed to meet with them along with state and local police at the end of the month. Representative Rotella would like to see the area put in a pilot program.
“It may have to do with flashing lights or reflective paint when a wrong-way driver approaches that maybe light up you see ‘wrong way’ ‘you’re driving the wrong direction’,” said Rep. Rotella.
There appears to be no shortage of suggestions in the search for solutions.