KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With more than a month left in 2022, troopers say our region has already seen as many deaths from wrong way crashes this year as in all of 2021.
Just this month, FOX4 told you about a driver killed hitting a semi head-on at Interstate 470 and Blue Ridge.
Ten days ago, a passenger was left in critical condition from another wrong-way crash at 12th and Van Brunt.
“I do know of a death because of [wrong way crashes], honestly, Andrew, good guy,” said Leigh Simpson of Kansas City.
In the Boston-area, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is testing out a new system of detecting wrong way drivers before they get on the highway. Thermal cameras detect the car and alert the driver first, then police and other drivers, if needed.
Working for you, FOX4 is asking local transportation officials if we could see this technology here.
Troop A of the Missouri Highway Patrol serves the following counties: Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Platte, Ray, and Saline.
In 2021, they say we had 109 wrong-way crashes, total, leading to five deaths, 41 injuries and in 63 cases, property damage.
So far this year, troopers have seen 82 crashes, but already five deaths, 32 injuries and 45 cases of property damage with still more than a month left.
“There’s probably a lot of things they could do to be safer,” said driver, Caitlin Curry.
When asked about the Boston-area tech, a MoDOT representative said: “MoDOT is aware of systems like these, but not aware of these being installed in our state yet. We did have a large project a couple years back to enhance our wrong way and do not enter signs at our interstate and freeway ramp terminals throughout the district. This included doubling up the signs and repositioning them for greater awareness.”
“Of course [it would be worth exploring] if it helps people, absolutely,” Simpson said. “Who’s paying for it, us.”
A MoDOT rep pointed us to safety measures like the high-tension cables that divide the highways in our area. That program began in 2006.
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