Facts about Wrong-Way Drivers on Milwaukee's Freeway System

Feb 4, 2014

The number of drivers deputies stopped for traveling on the wrong side of the freeway grew last year, with nearly all the drivers being intoxicated.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke ordered a review of the statistics from 2012 and 2013. They show that:

-- 43 wrong-way drivers were pulled over in 2013, up from 34 in 2012

-- 93% of those stopped in 2013 were drunk, up from 75% in 2012

-- most incidents occurred between 10 P.M. and 2:00 A.M.

-- most incidents occurred on weekends

-- most wrong-way drivers entered the freeway system via off-ramps in downtown Milwaukee

-- most of the off-ramps drivers entered ran parallel to on-ramps and contained minimal signage

-- most wrong-way drivers drove in lane 1 (the high speed lane), believing it was the slow traffic lane

The Sheriff's office recommends strategies for reducing wrong-way driving and its potential tragic results:

--  Add flashing "Wrong Way" signs on freeway exit ramps

-- Lower the height of "Do Not Enter" and "Wrong Way" signs - and post them on both sides of the ramp

-- Add reflective markers to the pavement that indicate traffic direction

-- Install median barriers between parallel exit and entrance ramps