Stopping wrong-way traffic crashes in Lexington

Traffic engineers explore ways and methods to stop wrong way driving


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Tuesday, an Urban County Council Committee heard a presentation on the most dangerous areas for potential wrong-way driving. Traffic engineers who spoke told members that it’s a problem that’s hard to detect. Often it’s because you don’t know that drivers run into each other until it’s too late.

Some contributing factors for why accidents happen include the following

  • driving alone
  • driving on nights and weekends,
  • driving intoxicated or drugged
  • drivers over the age of 70
  • having previous traffic violations

While these are all different reasons, they all have one thing in common, it takes just one for tragedy to occur. One crash to be mentioned is one that happened back in June in Lexington on I-75.  Six people were killed in a wrong-way collision. Among the deceased, four of the victims were children. State traffic engineers say they want to develop a new systematic approach for enhanced signs and markings for places where accidents could occur, like New Circle Road. In Fayette County, there are about 19 interchanges altogether. There are 11 on new circle road and another 8 on the interstates.

Some ideas include

  • making signs larger and more visible at night,
  • placing them closer to the mainline,
  • adding red reflective markers on signposts,
  • adding painted or reflective red arrows on the roads

In September, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet applied for a special technology grant for things like LED or flashing wrong-way signs with a detection system. Some of those systems are allegedly so advanced that they could detect what direction you go if you’re going the wrong way, notifying police.

On Tuesday the committee decided to ask the state to come back with a pilot program for some of these enhancements that would be made along roads like New Circle Road.

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