AirTalk for February 10, 2014

Wrong-way driver kills 6 in Diamond Bar; could highway design prevent such deaths?

60 Freeway crash

Courtesy California Highway Patrol

California Highway Patrol investigators at the scene of a crash that left six people dead and hurt two others.

A devastating crash this weekend on the 60 near Diamond Bar killed six when an intoxicated driver went the wrong way down the freeway. The driver, 21-year-old Olivia Culbreath, was allegedly speeding at around 100 miles per hour and was arrested at the scene for drunk driving.

A similar incident occurred in Florida on Sunday and killed five people. There are already safety measures in place aimed at preventing wrong-way driving. Depending on the state, prevention tactics may include road signs, arrows and lettering on pavement, and lights signaling the flow of traffic.

Traffic safety engineers have proposed barriers and other signage to further take action against wrong-way driving, while the California Highway Patrol highlights behavioral changes -- awareness and sobriety. Most wrong-way drivers are intoxicated or elderly.

What are the best ways to draw attention to existing safety measures? Is it financially and logistically possible to install more preventative barriers and signs? Is this an engineering issue, or a behavioral issue?  

Guest:

Hamid Bahadori, Transportation Policy and Advocacy Manager, Auto Club of California


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