Announced on Friday by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is launching a campaign to fight wrong-way driving as a part of a larger statewide campaign in order to reverse the catastrophic recent increase in wrong-way crashes and deaths. The campaign’s theme of “One Wrong Move” demonstrates how just one moment and one decision can be fatal.
Wrong-way driving crashes in Connecticut tripled in 2022. This includes 13 wrong-way crashes that resulted in 23 deaths, compared to 4 wrong-way crashes in 2021 and 2 in 2020. Studies have shown that wrong-way driving crashes are 100 times more likely to be fatal than other types of crashes.
“Wrong-way driving crashes are many times more likely to be fatal than other types of car accidents,” Governor Lamont said. “It’s shocking how quickly the number of wrong-way driving incidents has been accelerating over these last couple of years. Reversing this trend requires a comprehensive approach that not only involves infrastructure upgrades using advanced technology – which we are doing – but also requires a heightened awareness by drivers every single time they are entering a highway. Drivers should look, and then look again to ensure they are going in the correct direction every time they drive.”
“Wrong way driving deaths in Connecticut are up 500% and we are doing everything we can to reverse these trends,” Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto said. “More than 80% of wrong way drivers are found to be impaired. It is so important people think twice before they get behind the wheel. Driving drunk is a dangerous decision that can hurt and kill people. We need people to drive sober because one wrong move can be deadly.”
Those who encounter wrong-way drivers are encouraged to call 9-1-1 and report the location as soon as it is safe to do so. If a driver discovers they have entered a highway going in the wrong direction, they should immediately pull into the breakdown lane and change their direction when it is safe.
In July 2022, Governor Lamont authorized the release of $20 million in state bond funding for CTDOT to purchase and install advanced wrong-way driving technology along the state’s highways and roads.
CTDOT plans to install this technology in dozens more locations over the course of this year. Some of the locations that are targeted to soon receive it are in:
- East Hartford on I-84 at the westbound HOV exit
- Groton on I-95 at Exit 87 southbound
- Meriden on Route 691 at Exit 8 eastbound
- New Britain on Route 9 at Exit 25 northbound
- Windsor on Route 91 at the northbound HOV exit, Exit 42 northbound, and Exit 42 southbound
Future installations of this technology will add the ability to notify Connecticut State Police in real time. CTDOT is also exploring additional mitigation measures, such as in-laid pavement reflectors.
The “One Wrong Move” campaign is being funded by previously allocated money CTDOT received from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).