Somers seeks details on ‘wrong-way driving technology’ in Stonington and beyond

August 10, 2022
Somers seeks details on ‘wrong-way driving technology’ 
in Stonington and beyond
While Stonington is set to receive new technology that could prevent wrong-way driving deaths, state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, is lobbying to install the technology elsewhere in southeastern Connecticut.
The announcement of $20 million in state funding to prevent wrong-way driving deaths prompted questions from Somers as to what projects may be planned for the region.
At the moment, only one of 16 locations in Connecticut identified for the technology is available in southeastern Connecticut, but the state Department of Transportation (DOT) said it’s possible the program is expanded.
The money will go toward putting cameras on wrong-way signs throughout the state that would be set off if a driver is driving the wrong way.
A letter from Somers to state DOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti on July 29 referenced “multiple tragic wrong-way accidents” in North Stonington and Stonington.
“I write with regard to the $20 million in funding for ‘wrong way driving technology’ which was approved on July 29 by the State Bonding Commission,” Somers wrote in her letter. “I am aware of the wrong-way installation sign project in Stonington (I-95 South, Exit 90 at Route 27/Greenmanville Rd.) Can you please send me any timeline details and goals you have for that particular construction project?”
Southeastern Connecticut has had a number of wrong-way accidents.
Over a 14-month period that began in 2019, seven people died in Stonington as the result of wrong-way drivers on Interstate 95.
Others have died in wrong-way crashes in North Stonington, Haddam and other local locations.
“As you roll out this new, potentially life-saving technology across the state, I hope you will consider additional southeastern Connecticut locations in your future planning,” Somers continued. “We all want to prevent future tragedies from happening in my region and across the state.”
In the first seven months of 2022, Connecticut had a record 11 wrong-way driving accidents that killed 20 people.
The 20 deaths represent a dramatic increase from four fatal wrong-way accidents in 2021 and three in 2020, according to UCONN’s Connecticut Transportation Institute.
One fatal accident this year occurred just days before the governor’s announcement of the $20 million program, when two people died in a wrong-way crash on Route 8 in Bridgeport.