CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Fox 8 I-Team has found plans finally moving ahead for a new system to detect wrong-way drivers. But, you’ll have to wait to see if it makes a difference.
The I-Team checked back on a big project to make your highways safer. And a wrong-way crash survivor and his mother spoke out.
Tina Soper said, “I’m glad it’s finally going to happen, and, it might help save lives. That was what I wanted back when the accident originally happened.”
Two and a half years ago a wrong-way driver in Cleveland plowed into Alexander Soper and his dad, Todd. Alexander suffered multiple broken bones and we’re told his dad is still learning to walk again.
The wrong-way driver died in the crash.
Now, the I-Team has learned of a big step forward in the installation of a wrong-way driver detection system.
New sensors on highway ramps will help alert police to wrong-way drivers, and new flashing lights on ramps will be put in to try to get drivers to stop before it’s too late.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is overseeing the project, putting in wrong-way driver sensors on chronic wrong-way driver trouble spots on 25 highway ramps in and around Cleveland
ODOT predicted that work would start this year, but a company has just now been hired.
ODOT spokesperson Amanda McFarland said, “Based on when they can receive materials needed to complete the work, they anticipate being able to begin in early 2024 with all work completed in September 2024. It’s going to be on I-71 and I-90.”
Investigators have found that wrong-way drivers are often drunk or high. We’ve even seen that in police videos with some of the drivers in these cases busted.
ODOT will put the new sensors on highway ramps based on the history of crashes there, looking back three years and also considering, how are the ramps constructed, if the lane to get on the highway right next to the lane to come off of the highway and, if can drivers easily be confused.
Alexander said, “I’m just hoping it’ll be sooner rather than later.”
The Soper family wants to see action that might protect another family as soon as possible.
Alexander said, “If it can help prevent something that happened to me and my dad, or someone else, that would be amazing.”