ADOT to Test if More Signs, Bigger Signs Will Stop Wrong-Way Drivers

Categories: News
adot-wrong-way.jpg
ADOT
One of the new signs.


People keep driving the wrong way on Phoenix-area highways, and the Arizona Department of Transportation is going to see if signs do the trick.

Just in the last two months, seven people have been killed by wrong-way drivers, and there were two more crashes caused by wrong-way drivers this week.

See also:
-Mesa Police Officer Killed by Wrong-Way Driver
-ADOT Tested Systems to Detect Wrong-Way Drivers Last Year

ADOT's going to see if more signs, larger signs, and better-placed signs will cut down on the number of people who go the wrong way onto highways.

All local freeway off-ramps already have "Do Not Enter" and "Wrong Way" signs, and the reflectors along the lane markings on the freeways show red if you're going the wrong way.

ADOT picked the six sites with the most reports of wrong-way drivers, and is implementing the new signage.

ADOT says the new "Do Not Enter" will be 18 inches higher and longer, for a total of 4 feet high by 4 feet wide. The "Wrong Way" signs beneath them will also be 4 feet wide. These signs will be posted 3 feet off the ground, compared to the current standard, which has them 7 feet off the ground.

ADOT will also use those red reflectors in the shape of arrows to warn people they're going the wrong way.

"It is not yet known how long the new signs and other changes will be studied before a decision is made about an expansion of the program to other state freeway or highway locations," an ADOT statement says. "There are more than 100 traffic interchanges on the Phoenix-area freeway system and more than 475 interchanges along the rest of the state highway system."

Here are the location of these new signs:

  • Interstate 17 and Carefree Highway (State Route 74)
  • Loop 101 (Agua Fria) and Thunderbird Road
  • Loop 101 (Agua Fria) and Peoria Avenue
  • Interstate 10 and Ray Road
  • Interstate 10 and Wild Horse Pass Boulevard
  • Interstate 10 and Queen Creek Road (State Route 347)

In the past, ADOT has tested some high-tech systems that are supposed to alert authorities that a driver has entered a highway going the wrong direction. An agency spokesman told us they're still in the study phase on that technology.

Among the people killed recently by wrong-way drivers was 32-year-old Mesa police officer Brandon Mendoza. Mendoza was heading home from his shift when he was hit by an allegedly drunk driver who managed to drive the wrong way on various highways around Phoenix for about 30 miles, even though the Arizona Department of Safety had received reports of the wrong-way driver.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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73 comments
Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer

ADOT!!!!!!! read your own sign but put this in front of it....... YOUR HANDLING IT THE_______________ Put in the NO BACK_UP PARKING LOT SPIKES and It wont happen as often anymore and even if it does that car wont be going fast in the WRONG direction or far with 4 flats will it!!!!! The spikes will save lives and the signs wont do SH_T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! do you really think that the people that went up the off ramp the wrong way where reading signs? or the fact that all those cars coming at them for many miles mean anything to those drivers your sign is for a wrong turn or lost driver not the drunk,crazy or i want to die people..... As for the Emergency vehicles getting on the freeway there are lots of way to fix that to many to name them all but here's a couple..... senors like the traffic lights have for police and fire, auto retrack using strobes, a metal plate that slide out over the spikes or the spike unit pivots( rolls) to allow accsess up the ramp.......the bottom line is most likely this they dont want to spend that kind of money because it doesnt happen THAT OFTEN to justify the cost and SIGNS ARE CHEAPER!!!!!!!!

Colin Kelton
Colin Kelton

no! Make it harder to renew licenses. Way to many old people that should not be driving!

Colin Kelton
Colin Kelton

I'm pretty sure prohibition didn't work the last time they tried it. What makes you think it will work now?

Abel Baker
Abel Baker

Yep, that's it!!! Bigger signs... problem solved. Gosh ADOT, you're amazing! Oh wait, the driver's are drunk and, um, they are drunk you see... sooooo they don't see that CARS are coming their way, but they'll certainly see bigger signs!!! Yep, that'll fix everything. How about more Highway Patrol Officers to actually catch the drunks BEFORE they crash??? Nope, that makes too much sense.

William Exley
William Exley

Remove dangerous drivers? I guess I'll be driving alone

Victoria Sadler
Victoria Sadler

Add spike at the freeway entrances, that way they get flat tires when they try to enter going the wrong way.

Victoria Sadler
Victoria Sadler

Why didn't they leave the other sign that was there too. Less is Not more in this case.

Karen Fritz
Karen Fritz

They are doing what they can as the front line organization that was put in the spotlight to resolve the issue. But we are dealing with bigger concerns (drug/alcohol abuse) that can't simply be stopped with bigger signs.

Darren Kissinger
Darren Kissinger

Gotta start trying anything and everything at this point...I only drive on surface streets after dark now because of all this happening recently!

Jared Albert
Jared Albert

Put sensors in the road that detect wrong direction travel and then have them activate flashing lights that get the drivers attention. Or how about those nifty little spikes that they have in all those parking garages? I think the cost of someone's life far out weights the cost to implement these kinds of devices.

Gene Edwin Miller
Gene Edwin Miller

they could put 40 ft signs with bright neon colors and flashing, that yell or alert in some way when motion detectors notice this occurance and still people would do it. but if you put sexually explict material on it they might pay more attention to it. either that or picture of a mig mac... cause merica damnit!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Modern Technology -- with GPS, RFID sensors and OnStar vehicle systems, the errant vehicles can be instantly and remotely disabled.



Gary Deyoung
Gary Deyoung

I think removing dangerous drivers from the road is the solution.

Cyndi Blessed
Cyndi Blessed

No...however I hope they pay close attention while driving

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

Mikes bar still open first drink free next exit that should do it

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Make the Drivers License testing as comprehensive and exclusive as a Private Pilot License.



Irma Lopez
Irma Lopez

No its not going to help, drunk people or people under drug influence they don't the have the ability to ready this signs, wasting money . If they going to expend money on signs Its better to install something to make the car tires flat to stop the car going in wrong direction

Jessica Ache
Jessica Ache

Bigger signs? Come on, drunk ass people going the wrong way aren't going to see signs - how about rethinking the legalization of alcohol???

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

heres one flaw with those ideas

drunks arent really reading or obeying signs

(granted not all wrong way drivers are drunk though)

also.............dont you think about 50 cars coming directly at you in the lane you are driving in might be a bigger sign that you are going the wrong way than any sign ADOT could make?

i wish these were jokes, but they are real questions and observations

Robin Denise
Robin Denise

On the news they explained that the spikes won't work because emergency vehicles use those ramps and they would be coming the wrong way so they aren't doing the spikes.

Mike Cromer
Mike Cromer

They need to install some of those wrong way spikes like they have in parking lots. Dumb drivers wouldn't get to far on four flat tires!

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Guess the 5 to 15mph thing didn't compute. Also, they need to access the accident as soon as possible when seconds count. They can't drive around looking for an emergency U turn. You're also stating you'd be willing to pay higher taxes to install U turn areas? It will take multi millions to change the freeway system to accommodate what you are advocating.

Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith

Stupid sign....how does it know where I'm going?! Says every drunk bastard who sees this sign.

Paco Gee II
Paco Gee II

guess they will just have to make uturn things for emergency vehicles like EVERY other state has but AZ

Paco Gee II
Paco Gee II

seriously they need to put the spikes on the end of the ramps.. Otherwise ADOT and AZ should be sued every time a wrong way driver kills someone.. I live in Black Canyon City, where at least two vehicles have entered the freeway from the wrong way.

Drew Long
Drew Long

should just be a skull and cross bones

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

While spikes sound like a feasible solution it wouldn't work. One reason is...They are designed to work at 5 to 15 mph. Plus...Emergency vehicles have to go the wrong way many times to access an accident scene.

David James
David James

Bigger signs don't make drivers less stupid and/or less drunk. Sorry.

Rusted Halo
Rusted Halo

More license revoking. Make it harder for idiots to drive. They don't pay attention signs, especially if they are drunk or on their cell phone. I've seen 3 cases in the past year of wrong way driving. All of them were old people. Granted I live close to Sun City. Unlike CA our highways are pretty safe and simple. Driving in AZ all together is pretty damn easy. It's not our roads, it's the people driving on them.

PA LoLo
PA LoLo

Not if they can't see the road!

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

doesnt help when they cant read english.

Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie
Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie

Why doesn't this happen as much in other places-what are they doing differently in other states? I think the signs are worth a try though.

Fer Sepulveda
Fer Sepulveda

So sad that An impaired driver will not even read it if it was in the middle of the road and with neon lights...,

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

and for added effect have the sign blinking with a beer mug and shot glass

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

which will be used by every friggin nimrod who was too busy on his phone to see his exit..............and yet still not be used by wrong way drivers. if they were to stupid to notice all the other obvious indicators that they were going the wrong way................what makes you think they are intelligent enough to find those turn abouts that are there for emergency only vehicles

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... the Emergency Vehicles can go around the spikes on the shoulder.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Arizona = Desert Racist Wasteland of Senility

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... sad that so many Repuglycans flunked out of school, isn't it?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Arizona drivers are a bit more retarded than the average.

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