State lawmakers trying to find ways to reduce wrong-way crashes

Five people were killed this week as a result of a wrong-way driver on a major highway.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After five people were killed in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 495 this week, state lawmakers suggested improving highway signage.

Research reveals these crashes often result in death and serious injury.

“You just try to do more to prevent this from happening and hope that people aren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” said David Sheehan of South Deerfield.

Four college students died on Monday as a result of a driver going the wrong way on a highway in Middleborough. State lawmakers are looking into how to better alert drivers on highways to prevent these accidents from happening. The wrong-way driver also died in the Middleborough accident.

Wrong-way collisions occur when a driver enters the wrong way on an exit ramp. Since some ramps are positioned close together, it may be hard to tell which ramp is the entrance or exit.

“It kind of terrifies me because I drive at night and early in the morning,” said Katie Costa of Leverett. “If i encounter someone driving the wrong way that would be pretty bad.”

MassDOT has added wrong-way and do not enter signs on highway ramps. State lawmakers have suggested painting green arrows right on the road surface to indicate the correct direction. More than half of wrong way crashes have occurred on weekends and nearly 80 percent between 6 at night and 6 in the morning.

According to the NTSB, more than 2,100 people have died in wrong way crashes since 2004.