May 28, 2024
Jeff Derderian Covers The New Warning Systems Being Installed to Curb Connecticut’s Wrong-Way Driving Incidents

Jeff Derderian Covers The New Warning Systems Being Installed to Curb Connecticut’s Wrong-Way Driving Incidents

Wrong-way crashes on Connecticut highways have become a persistent and deadly issue, prompting state transportation officials to intensify efforts to prevent these tragic accidents. Jeff Derderian’s TV news investigation revealed some surprising things.

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) data, wrong-way collisions surged in 2022, with 13 crashes resulting in the loss of 23 lives, marking one of the deadliest years in recent memory.

Britton Wilson, an electrician deeply involved in this cause, emphasizes that the solution goes beyond mere infrastructure upgrades. “What we are doing is bigger than just putting some lights and alert systems on a ramp,” he said.

Wilson’s commitment stems from a devastating personal loss. In 2016, his brother Terell Wilson fell victim to a wrong-way driver on Interstate 95 in Milford, succumbing to injuries sustained in the accident a month later. Since then, Wilson has channeled his grief into action, working tirelessly to implement advanced warning systems to prevent similar tragedies. He says he jumped at the chance to work on the project.

Jeffrey Derderian found that the DOT’s strategy involves installing high-tech wrong-way warning equipment on ramps, including LED lights and illuminated signage, to alert drivers heading the wrong way. These systems, monitored closely by DOT and Connecticut State Police, have shown promise in mitigating the risk of such collisions.

Despite progress, challenges remain. Jeff Derderian explains that supply chain issues have slowed the pace of installations. However, DOT officials remain resolute in their mission, with plans to implement additional systems at more than 90 ramps by the end of 2024.

Christine Jeltema, a sergeant with the Connecticut State Police, underscores the importance of public vigilance in preventing wrong-way incidents. “If you see someone going the wrong way, call 911 immediately,” she advised, urging drivers to pull over safely if they find themselves in such a situation.

For Wilson, each new system installed is a testament to his brother’s memory. He shares a ritual with his mother, celebrating every success in their fight against wrong-way crashes. “Everything I do is essentially to make him proud of what his little brother has become,” Wilson reflects.

As Connecticut continues its battle against these devastating collisions, Wilson’s personal journey serves as a poignant reminder of the human toll behind the statistics, driving home the importance of ongoing efforts to make the state’s roads safer for all.

Transportation experts at the Connecticut Transportation Institute, part of the UConn School of Engineering, highlight that impaired driving by alcohol is a major factor in many of these crashes. Sometimes, even the brightest of lights won’t stop a wrong-way driver. Jeff Derderian found that plans are underway to equip cars with warning systems on the dash or mechanisms to pull the car over and stop if someone is going the wrong way up an off-ramp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *