CLEVELAND (WJW) – Video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows a driver going the wrong way up a ramp to a busy local highway, even blowing past arrows and signs.
This time, police stopped that driver.
But, this case shows why the state is putting in a new wrong-way driver alert system in and around Cleveland.
In this case, Parma police spotted a driver going onto an off-ramp from the Jennings Freeway.
Officers chased after the driver, but just when he started to pull over in a construction zone, he took off again.
On the police video, you hear sirens and an officer shout, “Pull over!”
The video also clearly shows the driver barreling past wrong way signs. You see him approaching headlights from oncoming traffic.
Finally, the driver pulls over once more and Parma officers grab him as well as a passenger.
Police witnessed this driver getting on the highway the wrong way, but it has happened so often in Northeast Ohio, next year the Ohio Department of Transportation will install a network of sensors and cameras to detect wrong-way drivers.
ODOT spokesman Matt Bruninig told the I-Team how the new alert system could help spot a wrong-way driver when police are not there to see it.
“Once that driver enters the ramp the wrong direction, they would see some flashing lights.
We would also get video from cameras on that ramp,” Bruning said. “That would be sent to our traffic management center. Then, they can get on the radio and reach out to law enforcement in the area.”
In this case, Parma police say they found cans and bottles of beer in the driver’s pickup. Some were empty and some were full. Police believe the driver was drunk.
He also now has been charged for not having a license. When we went to his address, we found an apartment building that appeared to be vacant.
The video also shows this driver almost took off again even with an officer at his door.
We’ll watch to see what happens with this case in court.
We’ll also report the next steps for the new wrong-way alert system to get installed next year in and around Cleveland.