SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s been three cases of wrong way drivers in less than a month in Santa Fe along I-25, with one of those cases resulting in a crash that killed a 23-year-old man.
Police suspect each wrong way driver was driving drunk. Now, one Albuquerque man said he believes he has a way to prevent this from happening again.
Conrad Carrasco built his own small scale model of a highway with flashing signs and spike strips that deploy as soon as a driver gets on a ramp going the wrong way. His model also includes flashing signs along the highway that will warn drivers that a wrong-way driver has entered the “off-ramp” miles ahead.
“I came up with this about five years ago,” Carrasco said. “I tried contacting the state and some other people, but no one seemed interested and it wasn’t until I saw your story a week ago that I realized I’m going to pursue this.”
Carrasco said he’s surprised the New Mexico Department of Transportation hasn’t done more to help prevent drivers from entering the wrong way on the highway. But he said his concern isn’t drivers who are simply confused; his concern is drunk drivers. That’s why he insists “spike strips” are needed.
NMDOT disagrees and told KRQE News 13, “Spike strips are not necessarily ideal for highway use and can also create a safety hazard, and therefore NMDOT is not considering installing them.”
The department went onto say, “We are looking into other proactive measures such as flashing solar lights, more visible signs and stripes.”
Carrasco said that’s not enough.
“We do have a big problem and it needs to be addressed and addressed aggressively,” Carrasco said. “Just putting warning lights is not going to stop a drunk driver. I mean a red light doesn’t stop a drunk driver.”