Sen. Tony Hwang, ranking Senator on the CT General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, today applauded the State Senate’s passage of HB 6746, which he co-introduced. The bill now heads to the governor for his signature.
The state of Connecticut has already begun installing wrong-way driving technology on several on-ramps of I-84, Route 2, I-95, I-395, Route 291, and I-391. There are also plans to install the technology on I-91 in Windsor at the northbound HOV exit and Exit 42 northbound and southbound.
The legislation will eventually install wrong-way detection systems at over 120 highway exit ramps that are deemed “high risk” by state transportation officials who have studied nearly 700 ramps statewide.
“These improvements of warning signage and electronic sensors on our roadways will hopefully prevent future senseless and preventable tragedies,” Sen. Hwang said. “Wrong-way collisions killed 23 people in 2022 in Connecticut in 13 different accidents. The state recorded only two wrong-way crashes in 2020 and four in 2021. This law will help to hopefully stop wrong-way drivers and save lives.”
The improvements call for a combination of warning lights, signs, electronic messages, and rumble strips to deter drivers from mistakenly getting on an exit.
“Wrong way driving deaths in Connecticut are up 500%”, according to Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “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.”
“We extend our condolences to so many Connecticut families that have suffered an irreplaceable loss due to wrong-way driving,” Sen. Hwang said. “And that loss is deepened at every gathering and holiday events because these are preventable tragedies. As policymakers, we can help make our roads safer for everyone, and this bill is one way to do that.”
Sen. Hwang said he would continue to focus on all types of road safety improvement measures, such as driving impairment, distracted driving and cannabis.
“We want all drivers to rethink getting behind the wheel with any level of impairment,” Sen. Hwang said. “That requires making a conscious cultural and societal shift. It requires education and public awareness through open, honest and sensible discussions. We need to reinforce that impaired driving is never acceptable. We do not want to mourn another tragic loss of life.”
Anyone that witnesses a wrong-way driver should call 911 immediately with the location.