SAN DIEGO — More than 3,800 people have died from wrong way crashes in the United States according to AAA. Now, Caltrans is working hard to bring an end to this troubling statistic.
Monday, a motorcyclist was traveling on the wrong side of North Torrey Pines Road when the rider hit an SUV. The motorcyclist died. Back in August, a woman drove the wrong way on 52 West when she hit a 49-year-old driver who died at the scene.
"In 2021, we did see a spike of wrong way crashes that resulted in fatalities. The time before that we saw an uptick, so, it was on the increase and rise," said Erwin Gojuangco with Caltrans.
That spike is the reason why Tuesday night, Caltrans crews are closing all lanes westbound of I-8 at Mission Bay from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for wrong way driver vehicle sensor testing at the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard off ramp.
All westbound traffic will be detoured to the Mission Bay Drive off ramp. Caltrans crews plan to implement this approximately $50,000-$70,000 system across San Diego; that cost is per installation.
"I think the project will address maybe 70 or more exit ramps in the region," said Gojuangco.
With this new technology they are testing, wrong way drivers will be alerted with:
- Red reflective pavement markers
- L.E.D. bordered “Do Not Enter" signs
- An audible voice that tells the driver they are going the wrong way
- The detection system also sends a message to Caltrans to notify them a driver is traveling the wrong direction.
Caltrans says it will be piloted for a year and is expected to be operational in a few weeks when the project is complete.
"It’s a technology that I think will benefit the traveling public and prevent wrong way drivers," said Gojuangco.
WATCH RELATED: Caltrans project to prevent wrong-way drivers begins on I-8 (Aug. 2022).
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