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More than 700 calls to DPS for wrong-way drivers

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 20:48:33-04
A wrong-way driver created two separate crashes on I-10 Tuesday morning. Now, the Department of Public Safety is investigating whether the driver had been drinking. 
 
It's something that happens more often than it should.
 
"At 4:30 this morning we had a passenger vehicle westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic when it ran into a pickup truck," said DPS Public Information Officer, Quentin Mehr.
 
The wrong way driver from Tuesday morning's crash on I-10 near Avra Valley and Twin Peaks Road was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver that was hit was not hurt.
 
"It's driver behavior. Why do people go out and drink and drive? Sixty percent of wrong-way drivers are intoxicated or impaired in some manner."
 
In November of last year, a wrong-way driver was killed after slamming into a semi on I-10 near Congress.Three months before that Tucson Police Officer Isaac Rosario was killed in a head-on collision by a wrong-way driver outside Phoenix. 
 
So far this year, DPS has received more than 700 calls reporting wrong way drivers across the state. Ten of those have resulted in a crash with injuries or fatalities and 42 arrests have been made. 
 
DPS officials say there are already measures in place to prevent wrong-way driving.
 
"If you're going the wrong-way, each one of the ramps is marked wrong-way so you're aware,"said Mehr. "You've seen the road reflectors. If you're going the wrong-way they're all red."
 
The Arizona Department of Transportation is currently working on new technology to help detect wrong-way driving. In January they started a study that uses existing sensors on freeway on-ramps that can track traffic patterns and alert authorities if a car is headed the wrong way.