Can shorter signs save lives? The North Texas Tollway Authority hopes so. In an effort stop the rise of head-on car crashes on the Dallas Tollway, the authority has gotten permission from the Federal Highway Administration to install "wrong way" and "do not enter" signs at a lower height than normal.
Michael Rey, spokesman for the tollway authority, sites studies performed by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M. The studies worked to prove that the lowered signs didn't increase the risk of crashes for traffic going the right way. The new signs sit two feet from the ground. Normal signs are a full seven feet in the air.
"Impaired drivers are almost always at the wheel in wrong-way crashes," Rey said. "Studies show impaired drivers tend to look at the ground, or very low."
Some of the test signs, part of a two year initiative designed to get the attention of drunk drivers headed the wrong way on the tollway, will feature flashing red LEDs.
The Dallas car crash attorneys at the Hart Law Firm are always glad to hear about safety initiatives that work to save lives and stop drunk drivers from harming others. We will continue to follow this story and hope that the changes prevent crashes and save lives.