Police stop woman 'drinking wine' and driving wrong way down M25
Hundreds of motorists art4 driving the wrong way on motorways after a “frightening” surge in possibly “fatal” incidents, according to new data.
Figures from National Highways show a staggering 13 percent increase in people travelling in the wrong direction.
A massive 872 drivers were seen driving the wrong way down a motorway compared to just 770 during the previous 12 months.
It means 16 drivers per week were making the error which could cause serious injury or death.
Sheena Hague, National Highways director of road safety said the group was doing all it could to reduce the number of accidents.
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She explained: “Safety is our top priority and our traffic officers are called out to hundreds of thousands of incidents each year, including collisions, breakdowns and debris.
“Thankfully the number of reports of oncoming vehicles is low, however we treat them seriously by setting signals to warn and inform drivers for every report of a vehicle driving the wrong way on our motorways.”
In June, a Volkswagen Golf was involved in a head-on crash with a van said to have been “deliberately driven in the wrong direction at speed” on the M5.
An elderly motorist drove the wrong way down an exit on the M40 in Buckinghamshire in April. After being stopped, the driver failed an eyesight test and surrendered their driving licence.
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Meanwhile, three men were killed when a stolen van being driven in the wrong direction crashed into a taxi in Bradford back in June 2022.
Edmund King, president of the AA, seemed to suggest sat nav systems may have played a part in the sudden rise.
He explained: “The increase in the number of vehicles being driven in the wrong direction on motorways is frightening and can be fatal.
“Various incidents seem to be clearly down to drunk drivers for which there is absolutely no excuse. These drunk drivers should not be on the roads.
“Generally the slip-road layout and signage is designed to ensure joining the motorway in the right direction is intuitive. However, sometimes drivers follow sat-nav directions without thinking, for example, to ‘take the third exit’, without actually checking the signage, and therefore they can make mistakes.”
Motorists who see a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction have been urged to call 999 immediately.
Speed limits are usually slashed to 20mph when incidents are reported in a bid to keep road users safe.
Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, said: “We design our motorways to be as intuitive as possible to reduce the likelihood of anyone driving the wrong way.”
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