I-TEAM: Why are there so many wrong-way drivers with less traffic on the roads?

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained video showing wrong-way drivers barreling down busy local highways even though there’s been a sharp drop in traffic on the roads due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The latest incident happened Wednesday at dawn along the Shoreway on Cleveland’s east side.

Highway cameras captured a car going up the off-ramp at the East 185 exit. 911 calls started pouring in to police.

The highway cameras also showed that wrong-way driver plowed head-on into traffic. Other vehicles kept swerving to avoid a collision.

Bratenahl Police video shows Cleveland police officers stopped that driver before a crash.

But, we’ve also obtained video of two other local wrong-way drivers from recent weeks.

In one case, a wrong-way driver on the innerbelt ended up crashing. That left multiple people hurt, and it shut down the highway.

In another case, Brooklyn Hts police scrambled and caught up to a wrong-way driver before a crash.

‘There is zero time when there is zero risk,” said Matt Bruning, Press Secretary for the Ohio Department of Transportation. “Traffic volume has been a lot lighter since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It kind of bottomed out at about 48 percent of a decrease in the volume across the state of Ohio.”

The I-TEAM took a closer look at how the latest wrong-way driver got on the highway.

Video shows he went up a ramp that should be used to get off the highway. If you start going up that ramp you can see big red signs saying ‘wrong-way’, so how does someone miss that?

Cleveland Police say that driver first got cited for marijuana and a scale with investigators looking into more charges. Police say that driver had also hit a pole before getting on I-90.

ODOT says most wrong-way drivers are drunk or high. However, police say, in the recent case on 480, the driver was 72 years old and was lost and confused.

*Read more investigative stories from the I-TEAM, here.*

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