Could spike strips curb wrong-way crashes?

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 19:21:48-04

CINCINNATI — With another wrong-way crash on the Tri-State’s interstate highways narrowly averted over the weekend, some concerned residents contacted WCPO asking what else law enforcement could be doing to help prevent such traffic incidents.

Their concern is not unwarranted: According to Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Cunningham, the region has seen a “slight uptick” in wrong-way crashes in recent months.

As far as solutions go, several readers wrote in suggesting that spike strips — like those used to prevent theft from car rental parking lots, say — placed on highway exit ramps could prevent wrong-way collisions.

But Cunningham said spike strips not only would be “cost prohibitive,” but also could also pose new risks to motorists.

“Stop strips weren’t made to be placed where there’s heavy traffic,” Cunningham said.

To boot, the devices have a “tendency to malfunction,” Cunningham said.

Officials with Kentucky and Indiana’s transportation departments agree, saying that the unintended consequences of one-way spikes would outweigh any benefit.

At least two wrong-way crashes have claimed the lives of Tri-State motorists in 2016. Police said 22-year-old Taryn Chin, of Cincinnati, was driving a minivan the wrong way on Interstate 71 on Feb. 17, crashing into the vehicle of 47-year-old Jose Arenas Perez. Perez died at the scene.

Earlier this month, police said 30-year-old local rapper Kory Wilson made a U-turn on Interstate 75 near the GE facility in Evendale and subsequently crashed head-on into the vehicle of 61-year-old Nazih Shteiwi and his wife Halla Odeh Shteiwi, 55, both of Fairfield.

Wilson and the Shteiwis were killed in the crash.