AURORA, Colo -- A construction project that went into overtime on I-225 caused a major traffic backup Thursday morning, prompting frustrated drivers to use the on-ramp to exit the traffic-clogged highway.
Denver7 Traffic Anchor Jayson Luber observed the scofflaws on his CDOT camera screens.
"This is not okay," he said, "going the wrong way to go south on the ramp to 225, that is wrong people, wrong."
After a few minutes, Aurora police officers showed up with lights flashing to put a stop to the wrong way drivers.
"We're a big city and construction plays a big part in keeping traffic moving," said Lt. Jad Lanigan of the Aurora Police Department. "People aren't used to that. They're used to a 15 minute drive and now they're in a 25 to 30 minute drive, they're late for work, they panic and then take matters into their own hands to try to get off the roads."
"We see it more than we should," said Master Trooper Gary Cutler of the Colorado State Patrol. "It's really scary. On the on ramp you don't have those high speeds, but all it takes is somebody else who has the right of way that's not paying attention, and you can either have a property damage crash, or possibly an injury or fatality."
Cutler told Denver7 that drivers going the wrong way can keep fire crews or ambulance crews from doing their job, if they can't access the highway.
He said state troopers have seen instances where impatient drivers will use emergency turnarounds on interstate highways, instead of going to the next exit.
"When you're on a road where traffic is going anywhere from 55 to 75 miles an hours, (other drivers) are not expecting to see someone turn in front of them... and you can't get your speeds up fast enough...so that's a big danger also."
Aurora driver Micah Scott has seen the impatience of other drivers
"I see a lot of people cutting people off, being really angry, driving really fast," she said.
Moriah Scott said she's gotten frustrated behind the wheel, but tries to be patient.
When asked how she does that, she replied, "I pray. I honestly pray or worship, or else I'm going be screaming at people."
Master Trooper Cutler said if someone is cited for driving the wrong way, they could be fined, and assessed points against their driver's license.
Fines & Points
- Driving the wrong way = $81 fine ($161 in Safety Zone) and 3 points reduced on your license.
- Crossing Median = $81 fine ($161 in Safety Zone) and 3 points reduced on your license.
- Reckless Driving = Summons to Court and 8 points reduced on your license.