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Published: Wednesday, 6/13/2012

ODOT to enhance wrong-way road signs


Additional signs warning drivers that they are traveling the wrong way on exit ramps will be installed by the end of the year, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced today.

The signs are part of upgrades being made to many highway signs in Lucas, Henry, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Ottawa counties, said Theresa Pollick, spokesman for ODOT District 2.

Supplemental wrong-way signs will be installed on the existing sign posts on non-cloverleaf exit ramps. The difference is that the new signs will be lower — 3 feet off the ground.

Studies nationwide have found that such low-mounted signs are in the path of a car’s headlights and that makes them more visible at night to older drivers and impaired drivers, who look for cues from the pavement ahead, Ms. Pollick said.

Where entrance and exit ramps are side by side at partial cloverleaf interchanges, new signs will point to the entrance ramp and arrows on the pavement will indicate the direction of traffic on the ramps.

The new signs are a response, in part, to three wrong-way crashes in an 11-day period earlier this year that killed six people.

“We, No. 1, want to make these additional enhancements,” Ms. Pollick said. “It’s going to be an ongoing process. The [wrong-way] crashes are relatively infrequent, but are more likely to produce serious injuries or fatalities.

“It’s going to be something that constantly evolves and something we constantly monitor, as we do after every fatal crash,” Ms. Pollick said. “If there’s a safety improvement we can make, we’re going to look at doing it.”

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