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Florida Officials Address Wrong-Way Driving: What to Do If You Encounter One

Wrong Way

A recent incident involving a wrong-way driver in Orlando has brought renewed attention to the issue of wrong-way driving in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Orlando Police Department (OPD), and Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) successfully intervened to prevent a potentially tragic accident, highlighting the importance of awareness and response.

The Incident

On July 25 2023, FHP received reports of a 2022 Toyota Corolla driving eastbound on the westbound entrance ramp to Interstate 4 (I-4) from County Road (CR) 423. A swift response by FHP, OPD, and OCSO stopped the vehicle from endangering motorists. The Trooper's vehicle physically blocked the Corolla's path, leading to a minor collision and injuries to both drivers.

"FHP’s response to the report of wrong way driving and the actions of the trooper involved, without a doubt, saved lives," said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II.

The Rising Concern of Wrong-Way Driving

As of May 24, 2023, wrong-way fatal crashes in Florida have reached 29, a concerning increase compared to 45 in total for 2022. These statistics underscore the serious risks posed by factors within the driver’s control, such as drowsy driving, intoxication, distracted driving, and impaired mental health.

What to Do If You Encounter a Wrong-Way Driver

Seeing a WRONG WAY sign or wrong-way driver requires immediate action:

  • Stop immediately.
  • Pull over to the side of the road.
  • Turn around when it is safe to do so.

If encountering a wrong-way driver or seeing an alert:

  • Use caution.
  • Reduce your speed.
  • Pull over.
  • Call *FHP (347) or dial 911 to report.

Florida's roadways feature consistent signage and pavement markers to signal drivers traveling in the wrong direction. Ongoing implementation of additional technology and education aims to prevent tragic incidents.

Resources and Education

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in partnership with FHP, offers resources on how to respond to wrong-way driving situations. To learn more about these guidelines and the ongoing efforts to educate Florida's drivers, visit the webpage and watch this video.

The focus on prevention and education surrounding wrong-way driving aims to create safer roadways for all Floridians. The collaboration between law enforcement and transportation agencies demonstrates a strong commitment to public safety and community well-being.

With increased awareness and adherence to the guidelines provided, drivers can contribute to a safer driving environment, reducing the risk of injury and fatalities. The ongoing work by Florida's officials to deter wrong-way driving ensures that everyone can get home safely, reflecting a comprehensive approach to road safety that serves the best interest of the entire community.