Watch: UHP trooper clips wrong-way driver on I-80 in Salt Lake City

Posted at 11:14 AM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 23:40:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY - For months, Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Public Transportation have been looking for solutions to the wrong-way driving problem on state freeways. Now, they've come up with some solutions to try and help limit the problem.

"We're looking at adding some wrong-way signs," said Lieutenant Beau Mason, with UHP. "We're looking to lower the existing signs so that they're more visible too."

UDOT and UHP have also talked about adding long wrong way arrows on the highways themselves.

"Those arrows will be reflectors," explains Lt. Mason. "So they'll only catch the light in one direction, if you're driving the wrong way."

The most recent wrong-way driving situation happened early Monday morning around 1 a.m. when troopers got a call that someone was driving east in the Westbound lanes of I-80 heading near 5600 West.

Fortunately, a trooper wasn't far from the area when the call came in.

‪"As that vehicle was approaching, the trooper slowed down traffic," Lt. Mason said. "He did everything he could and once it got close he attempted a PIT maneuver."

The maneuver involves troopers clipping the rear end of another car, causing it to lose control.

"We do PIT training yearly, but we don’t train for this," Lt. Mason said. "You know, it’s never really safe to take a car head on. He went with his own gut and took things into his own hands.”

A decision Lt. Mason says likely saved others from being hurt.

UDOT says in the past 6 months, they've now had 55 incidents of wrong-way driving. As a result, they've begun alerting drivers with the use of electronic message boards if a report of a wrong way driver comes in.