ODOT official speaks out on wrong way crash solutions

Following three wrong way crashes in Northwest Ohio since March 2nd, two of them with multiple fatalities, Ohio's Department of Transportation is doing what they can to respond.

"We have seen an unusual number of these wrong way crashes happen within a close proximity to one another," ODOT Spokeswoman Teresa Pollick.

From information provided in police reports WNWO was able to determine the two fatal wrong way crashes, this month, were around 20 miles apart.

ODOT officials say that while these accidents are typically rare, what they do have in common is that all happened at night.

They add that they almost always involve elderly or impaired drivers.

In order to prevent becoming part of these types of accidents, Pollick says drivers need to make sure they're paying attention and are aware of their surroundings.

Pollick says that if you aren't distracted, you'll be able to more quickly respond to a threat or be the cause of a wrong way crash.

Since the accidents, transportation officials have been looking into their own options for prevention.

ODOT is also gearing up to begin an 18-month long construction project, called the intelligent transportation system; they say will add 75 cameras to local highway ramps.

Pollick hopes that in the future, information from these cameras will help officials determine where these wrong-way drivers are getting onto the wrong side of the roadway.

Currently, Pollick says, it is this is information that they are lacking in learning which solutions will best combat wrong way crashes.

"They still donâ??t know...where these drivers got on at... That's the case with many of them and that's something that is extremely difficult to pinpointâ?¦.That is such a key piece of information, because if we had that we could say okay we [need to] examine this rampâ?¦and see if there is any improvement that can be made,â?? Pollick said.

ODOT officials also stress that if confronted by a wrong way driver, get off to the right side of the road as quickly as possible.