BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — This past weekend was a dangerous and deadly one on Connecticut highways.
Between 2 and 3 a.m. Saturday, three wrong-way drivers were out on state roadways, and six people were killed in two crashes, one on I-84 in Hartford and another on I-91 in Meriden, that heightened attention to this nationwide issue.
Immediately following those crashes, police arrested a drunk wrong-way driver on Route 8 in Seymour.
“It’s not an unusual call. Like I said, it is something that has been a problem,” said State Police Sergeant Dawn Pagan.
Pagan said calling 911 is crucial with wrong-way drivers and explained why you are safer in the center and right lanes.
“At night, when you have a wrong way driver and their perspective is a little different, they think that they’re traveling on the proper side of the road,” Pagan said. “They’re going to be more than likely in that left lane.”
Before the wrong-way driver gets onto the highway, it starts at the off ramp. There are “do not enter” and wrong-way signs, but when it is dark overnight, they may not register for the driver, especially if they are impaired.
“Nighttime crashes that are going the wrong way, especially at two or three in the morning, the vast majority are impaired drivers,” Jackson said.
DOT plans to deploy wrong-way detection systems with flashing red lights at 15 high-risk locations across the state.
There is also talk about implementing a warning system to alert drivers of wrong-way drivers near their location.