I lost a former co-worker (Mesa PD) earlier this week and now the wreck on I-17.
I think a wrong way refusing to stop should qualify for deadly force and a DPS should be able to attempt to take out the driver with a rifle shot if they can't safely ram it. I know the car will still wreck but hopefully without ramming head on at high speeds into oncoming traffic. Stop Sticks and other spike devices really don't stop a vehicle as it can still be driven on flat tires.
I know it is REAL difficult to stop wrong way drivers as DPS can not follow them the wrong way, as it just compounds the danger to oncoming drivers. Maybe ADOT can put up more electronic signboards to warn driver to exit the freeway, if people will heed the warning.
I think there will be more suicide by vehicles this way.
There have been other fatal wrong way wrecks in the past several years and the frequency seems to be increasing.
Sad situation with these impaired drivers. A fellow I knew was killed up near Back Canyon City back in the 1980's by a wrong way drunk driver. Drunk had left a bar near BCC and drove north on south bound I-17
back in the late 1970's I worked near Buckeye road and 27 avenue. At the time I road a Yamaha XS-1100. I traveled south on the I-17 from T-bird each morning around 3:30 am
On 3 different occasions I had a wrong way driver coming at me. All 3 were up along side the median wall and only one had headlites on
Vehicle intervention, i.e. ramming, is authorized. Rifle, I don't know, could be justifiable. One that I dealt with 30 some years ago was on I-17 northbound in southbound lanes near Carefree highway, at night. Fortunately, in those days, night traffic was much lighter than now. The driver was not drunk, turned out to be a 80 plus year old man trying to get home to Sun City. Even after I got him stopped and talked to him, he did not understand exactly where he was or what was wrong. Sad case. Had his car towed, a deputy took him home to Sun City and I cited him for a re-examination of his driving privilege. MVD is really good about follow-up on those and I'm sure his license was revoked.
Most now seem to be impaired. Embedded spikes in the roadway, activated from the traffic center or by officers in cars would be awesome, but expensive. My neighbor is a DPS officer, worked the last 8 years night shifts. He said it happens several times a week. Very difficult to write a policy on how to handle it. One technique they try to use if they can get far enough out in front of it is to bring traffic to a halt, have the people get out of their cars and away from the roadway. If the wrong way sees the blocked road and stops in time, great. If not, he's hitting empty cars. But very difficult to get any particular plan in place quickly.
I read a third incident happened not far from my home, early sunday (may 18, 2014 ) morning . On 202 SanTan Freeway near Higley road. 2 people killed in sedan hit by a truck traveling the wrong direction