Letter: Wrong-way drivers
A suggestion in the Courier’s editorial page recently encouraged the use of flush mounted traffic spikes to stop wrong-way drivers from using off ramps to enter highways. If the traffic spikes were recessed and only activated by wrong-way vehicles this might work. Motion-detection cameras could activate the spikes.
There is a problem with the use of any physical barrier used to stop wrong way drivers. The problem are lawsuits. ADOT is sued more than anybody, public or private. Any physical barrier, even speed bumps, invite lawsuits. Recently, ADOT was successfully sued for millions of dollars for NOT having a cable barrier in the median between traffic on a divided highway. A motorist went off the highway, crossed the median, and crashed head on into traffic coming the opposite direction. How does this become ADOT’s fault?
We can see it now. An impaired driver enters the highway from an off ramp, their vehicle, traveling at high speed hits the traffic spikes and suffers catastrophic damage, possibly injuring the driver/passengers. If ADOT can be successfully sued for equipment they don’t install, imagine what the accident lawyers will do to ADOT for intentionally installed traffic spikes. Traffic spikes or any other physical barrier isn`t going to happen until we have judicial tort reform and that is a long way off.