Status: 22/09/2023, 05:39 a.m.
There is a wrong-way driver warning sign at the Lorch/Ost exit on the B29 federal road. © Daniel Maurer/dpa
They take a wrong turn, drive in the wrong direction and not only endanger their own lives: wrong-way drivers. The number of hazard alerts in the country is increasing.
Stuttgart - In the southwest, the danger of wrong-way drivers on the roads has recently grown significantly. This emerges from a response by the Ministry of the Interior to a request from CDU state parliamentarian Tim Bückner. According to the report, 391 wrong-way trips were recorded in the country last year - an increase of around 9.5 percent compared to the previous year. In 2021, 357 hazard reports of this kind were received, compared to 2020 in 326.
The wrong-way drivers also caused more accidents last year. As a result, there were 33 crashes in Baden-Württemberg in 2022. 23 people were slightly injured and 17 seriously injured. Three people were killed in wrong-way driver accidents. In 2021, the number of accidents was only 24. Most of the people who cause accidents are between 25 and 64 years old.
Driving the wrong way could constitute a criminal offense or administrative offense that will be prosecuted by the competent authorities, Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) emphasized in the letter. As early as 2013/2014, the local traffic inspection and accident commissions inspected all junctions in the country. "Signposting, marking and signposting have been checked for perfect condition, visibility and intelligibility and, if necessary, supplemented." All preventive measures have been implemented in this area.
The letter mentions, among other things, the prevention project on the federal highway 29, where so-called vibration strips were installed a few years ago at the entrances and exits near Schwäbisch Gmünd and Lorch. These are intended to warn wrong-way drivers as soon as they enter the main road the wrong way through grooves milled into the asphalt.
The ministry estimated the total cost of the test track at around 27,000 euros. Since the establishment of the vibration strips on three exits, Strobl said, there have been no more wrong-way journeys. However, it is not intended to set up further vibrating strips at junctions of federal highways.
"When it comes to avoiding wrong-way driving, technical solutions (vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, autonomous driving) are considered to have the greatest potential for reducing the number of cases," the minister stressed. Dpa