Elaine Steigler and Dena Carvell were traveling across the new bridge over the Trinity last Sunday night, when they witnessed a disturbing sight. A maroon SUV barreling towards them was going the wrong-way on the bridge. Thankfully, there wasn’t a collision, but it was a close call for them and for other cars on the bridge.
Steigler caught the whole thing on video using her iPhone while Carvell carefully continued driving. They were both grateful that they hadn’t been in the left lane. Other cars on the bridge honked at the maroon Dodge and flashed their lights, but the driver just wasn’t getting the message.
Due to WFAA’s coverage of the incident, the city of Dallas added two “Wrong Way” signs and a “Do Not Enter” sign to the bridge’s trickiest entrances yesterday. Before the end of the week the city will also install about 400 “pavement buttons” designed to glow red for drivers who are facing the wrong way.
This is a great example of concerned citizens, media and citywide officials coming together to quickly improve a dangerous situation. Hopefully, these new signs and buttons will be enough to dissuade drivers from going the wrong way.
It’s poignant that these new signs were put up on the same day Louis Nieves was sentenced to 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter. In that case, Alejandro Raya was not as lucky as the drivers on the new Trinity bridge. He was hit head-on when Nieves’ was driving the wrong-way down Interstate 30 East near downtown Fort Worth last year. Nieves was not simply a distracted driver on a new road – he was an intoxicated driver traveling negligently on a known highway. Nieves admitted to having had 10 beers before getting into his car that night.
Highways and bridges across the United States continue to try to find better ways to let drivers, even those heavily under the influence, know that they are driving the wrong way. Wrong-way wrecks can be particularly dangerous, so it’s important that city officials and citizens do all that we can to keep these incidents from happening.
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