State proposal would put spikes at freeway onramps to stop wrong-way drivers

Are spikes on the freeway the answer to the Valley's wrong-way driving problem? A state representative seems to think so.

State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita has written a bill, HB 2539, that calls for spikes that will shred the tires of wrong way drivers.

She calls for ADOT to identify highways that have a high potential for wrong-way drivers, and install the spikes there. The spikes would be placed at the top of freeway ramps, and would be designed to shred the tires on any vehicles heading the wrong way on a ramp entering the freeway.

In 2017, DPS says it logged more than 1,700 incidents of wrong way drivers across the state, and ADOT has installed a pilot system on I-17, which is supposed to detect, alert and track wrong-way drivers. Last year, large signs were installed at many entrance ramps to the freeway.

Some, however, disagree with the idea behind Rep. Ugenti-Rita's bill.

"That sounds like a very bad idea to me," said one man. "I say the signs are working, but not as well as they should be. I think there should be more police patrolling."

"If you're going really fast, it could potentially cause a major accident," said another man.

Others, however, agree.

"I really do believe it should be done, because in the past six months its been such a problem," said one woman.

ADOT and DPS officials won't comment on pending legislation, so they wouldn't weigh in on the spikes bill. In the past, however, ADOT has raised concern, saying they would not be effective on a freeway ramp.

No hearing has been set for the bill so far. and State Rep. Ugenti-Rita could not be reached for comment.