Honk if ... You’re Going the Wrong Way
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on February 14, 2011 at 6:00 AM, updated February 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM
It was the second wrong-way crash in New York that month. A week earlier, a New York police officer died after another suspected drunk driver drove the wrong way on the Northern State Parkway on Long Island. And a year ago, a Long Island mother driving with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit killed herself and seven others when she drove south in the northbound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway.
November’s double whammy led a Long Island district attorney to ask state transportation officials to consider rumble strips, lower signs, fog line reflectors and reflective red sur-faces on the backs of highway signs to alert drunks they’re driving the wrong way.
Other cities have installed sensors or cameras that trip flashing signs warning drivers they’re driving against traffic. On a Houston toll road, for example, radar detectors can sense a car going the wrong way and signs will flash to alert the driver. More to the point, however, highway signs will alert other drivers that there’s a ding-bat headed their way. (The actual wording: “Warning: Wrong-way driver ahead. All motorists pull to the shoulder and stop.”) The system also alerts police, who can get in front of the driver and stop him with spike strips. The cost: $350,000.
I believe that the cost of additional officers and sensors could be paid for with revenues from tickets issued on the parkways.