By Sharon Challenger
(August 8, 2022) — New flashing beacon warning systems will be installed at 16 designated exit ramps (Connecticut has approximately 700 exits ramps) across the state after the State Bond Commission approved $20 million for the project.
Connecticut has experienced 11 crashes this year, resulting in 20 fatalities due to drivers traveling the wrong way down a highway or a one-way road.
The new warning system includes cameras that will recognize wrong-way drivers. When a driver enters a ramp heading in the wrong direction, the cameras will trigger flashing lights to alert them.
According to authorities at the Department of Transportation, about 80% of the wrong-way accidents are due to alcohol impairment. Ten of the eleven recent accidents involved alcohol and two involved cannabis.
One Bond Commission member questioned whether legalized cannabis might be a reason for the increase in wrong-way accidents. To date, this is unknown. When the toxicology reports for 2022 are complete, officials may have an answer as to whether it has had an impact.
According to officials, the presence of cannabis does not always indicate impairment. This is because, unlike alcohol, cannabis can stay in a person’s body for weeks after it is consumed.
Connecticut State Troopers warn residents, “Do not to drive in the left lane past midnight because wrong-way drivers think they’re in the slow lane when in fact they’re in the fast lane.”
For more info about wrong-way accidents: https://attorney-myers.com/2017/02/wrong-way-accidents/