A recent article discussed certain modern technology that has been implemented in a state outside of Texas which has been shown to alert drivers when they are heading the wrong way on the highway. Supporters of the new systems say that reductions in wrongful death collisions have been reported within weeks of installing the technology on roadways. A man who lost his 21-year-old daughter in a wrong-way crash has been an active proponent of the new technology, saying that it could save lives and spare other families the grief his own family has suffered.
Reports indicate that there have been more than 260 wrong-way crashes in Texas since January 2015. The grieving father of the young woman who was killed in another state said that his life was forever changed the day his daughter died. Authorities claim that the driver who was suspected to have caused the accident registered a blood alcohol content level almost double the legal limit and had posted on a social media site that she was too drunk to care shortly before the tragedy occurred.
The man convinced Florida officials, where his daughter died, to install new LED technology on the highway that lights up to alert drivers when they are headed in the wrong direction. The system also automatically alerts authorities and other drivers in the area. Though similar technology is now being used in San Antonio, North Texas has reportedly been slower in testing and installing a system on TxDOT ramps in the DFW area where many wrong-way crashes are said to occur.
A spokesman for a Dallas sign company that studies road sign technology stated that implementing a new program along Texas roads is not something that can happen over a short period of time. TxDOT representatives said that they hope the test programs will be in place in North Texas by 2016. Others have noted that the projected date is four years behind the program started in San Antonio. Advocates of the technology say that the sooner the system is installed, the less wrongful death tragedies due to wrong-way drivers there might be. Those who are injured or suffer the untimely death of a loved one in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence have grounds for filing a legal claim against the at-fault party in a civil court.
Source: nbcdfw.com, “Life-Saving Tech to Prevent Fatal Wrong-Way Crashes Slow to Arrive in North Texas: NBC 5 Investigates“, Scott Friedman, May 5, 2015