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Rich Fields

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Tampa Bay has had three wrong-way crashes in three days.

These wrong-way crashes have claimed one life, sent two others to the hospital, and has seen two wrong-way drivers cited for D.U.I. This is a scary trend.

From Saturday to Monday morning, investigators were called to the scenes of three wrong-way incidents. The first on the Courtney Campbell Saturday around 3:22 AM. The second happened just over an hour later on I-275 around 4:44 a.m.

FHP says that crash killed the wrong-way driver, 39-year-old Aryail Marie Gomez, who was traveling Southbound in the Northbound lanes of the interstate in Hillsborough County. The crash also sent 30-year-old Brittany Castilleja, the driver of the car she hit, to the hospital.

The latest occurrence happened Monday morning on the Veterans Expressway. FHP troopers say around 1:22 a.m., a trooper luckily spotted a wrong-way driver near Gunn Highway and stopped the female driver before a crash occurred. The driver was 28 year old Marileydi Gonzalez-Meza of Pinellas Park. She was cited for DUI and driving with a suspended license.

So what is the solution? FDOT seems to think sensors in the roadway may help. They recently installed sensors along the Howard Frankland Bridge, sending messages to alert drivers to the danger headed their way. Now the question is when will the sensors will be added to the other dangerous roadways.

Kris Carson, a spokesperson for FDOT, says they seem to be working extremely well. However, they are studying the sensors that were added to the Howard Frankland Bridge for a full year before making a decision whether to expand the technology. Carson is quoted as saying, “It seems to have a good success rate, but we are still testing it and analyzing the data”

Another possible solution being discussed is using GPS. GPS devices know when you’re turning the wrong way onto a road and now the N.T.S.B. is advocating for car and cell phone manufacturers to add alerts to tell drivers when they’re going the wrong way.

Both good ideas. However, FDOT leaders say it really all comes down to drivers making better choices. Carson adds, “We have to ask for the public’s responsibility to drop drinking and driving. That’s what 99% of these crashes are,” 

People need to take more responsibility for their actions. Drinking while driving is the main cause for mistakes like this. Lets stop that first and foremost.

What do you think?

Source: ABC Action News

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Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .