Drivers headed the wrong way on U.S. 281 near San Antonio, Texas, are the target of a $500,000 investment by the Texas Department of Transportation. The money will help fund radar detectors and illuminated wrong-way signs at 32 exit ramps along a 15 mile stretch of the roadway.

This specific portion of U.S. 281 has the highest number of wrong-way drivers in the entire state, one of which, last year, resulted in a crash which killed a San Antonio Police Officer. In nearly all cases the wrong way drivers are found to be driving while intoxicated.

Once the new system is installed, the radar detectors will pick up on drivers who are heading in the wrong direction and sound an alarm at the Department of Transportation TransGuide office who will then alert the San Antonio Police Department.

Defensive driving skills come in very handy no matter what state you are driving in, but when something truly unexpected happens, like a driver heading straight at you on a busy one-way highway, you simply might not be able to react fast enough.

In addition to Brown, six other people lost their lives in wrong way crashes last. This prompted both the latest investment in wrong-way driving detectors along U.S. 281 and a general crack down on drunk driving in the San Antonio region. Since last May the Texas Department of Transportation has been using its messaging system to alert all drivers in the area to be alert and aware of an increase in wrong-way drivers in the area.

Last year more than 500 wrong-way drivers were reported in the San Antonio area alone. If this new wrong-way driver detection works as well as is hoped, the Texas Department of Transportation will install another detection system along Interstate 35, between U.S. 90 and I-37, another area with a higher than usual number of drivers headed in the wrong direction.

No matter where you drive it is best to be a good defensive driver; keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road because you just never know what might be coming down the road in your direction.

Image: Stuart Miles /