Statewide - Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Troopers have responded to more than 840 calls for wrong way drivers in 2016. In the last two weeks alone, two troopers have been injured while intervening to stop wrong way drivers.
This year has proven very challenging when it comes to vehicles traveling the wrong way on roadways in Arizona. Of the 840 calls received by DPS for wrong way drivers this year, 14 of the wrong way drivers have been involved in serious injury or fatal collisions. Fifty-one of the wrong way drivers have been arrested for suspected impairment.
While not every wrong way driver call for service reveals an actual wrong way driver, troopers always respond promptly and treat each call very seriously.
In the last two weeks, two wrong way drivers have been intercepted by troopers resulting in injuries to both troopers involved in the separate incidents. Due to the swift and brave actions of these troopers, no other motorists were injured. Last August, Trooper Jeremy Barr made headlines when he bravely rammed a wrong way vehicle on I-17 near Black Canyon City. Trooper Barr is still recovering from injuries sustained during the crash.
DPS would like to remind motorists to avoid distractions while driving so that you can better respond, or take evasive action, if you encounter a hazard such as a wrong way driver. Have a plan mind to avoid a wrong-way vehicle so that if you encounter one, you will not waste a moment to take emergency evasive action that could save your life.
“Increase your chances of avoiding a wrong way collision by staying right, staying aware and reporting wrong way drivers immediately,” said DPS Capt. Damon Cecil.
Below are DPS investigated wrong-way press releases from the past two years.