LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A man, suspected of driving under the influence with two children in his car, is accused of hitting and killing a young couple on the wrong side of the interstate. It’s not the first crash like this, this year.

Southern Nevada police record four deadly collisions that were caused by drivers traveling on the wrong side of the road in 2024 alone. The most recent was Saturday, where police say 37-year-old Martin Andino collided head-on with the car of 19-year-old Virginia Whiting and 21-year-old Antonio Aguilera on I-11.

It was along the same road where a driver traveling south in the northbound lanes collided head-on with another driver in early April, killing them both. A different truck driver was accused of killing three motorcyclists near Laughlin the month prior when police say he drove intoxicated and in the wrong direction of State Route 163. 

In the urban Las Vegas valley, an allegedly intoxicated woman in her 60s is accused of killing two and injuring three when she ran into a Boulder Highway bus stop on the wrong side of the road in April.

That same month, North Las Vegas police said a woman in her twenties died when another driver drove into her from the opposite travel lane.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has tried to prevent these scenes with preventative tools. The flashiest is flashing “wrong way” signs on the freeway and interstate off-ramps.

Kelsey McFarland, NDOT public information officer, points to the four locations these signs are currently located throughout Southern Nevada. They detect when a driver enters a freeway or interstate from the wrong direction before flashing abruptly and sending a video of the driver to first responders.

They were installed just months ago after a nearly three-year pilot program in Northern Nevada.

“It was highly effective. 84% of the drivers who saw that wrong way driver system flashing at them turned around,” McFarland said, standing in NDOT’s Washington Ave campus Monday morning. “We’re working on some technology upgrades that will need to be in place before more wrong-way driver systems are installed.”

Those upgrades include an enhancement of U.S. 95 from the Spaghetti Bowl around the Rainbow curve later this year with NDOT, the Regional Transportation Commission, and Clark County. McFarland acknowledges that freeway and interstate access points built before 2015 do not have the necessary infrastructure to install this technology.

However, when it comes to alerting intoxicated drivers that they are headed for potentially deadly situations, these systems do little.

“We can’t engineer ourselves out of stopping people from drinking and driving or getting behind the wheel impaired or sleepy. So, this is the best prevention tool that we have come up with to try to prevent further wrong action in getting on those freeways,” McFarland said.

NDOT representatives previously mentioned that technology to physically stop a wrong-way driver while entering a freeway, such as with safety spikes on the ground, is not compatible with first responder vehicles that occasionally use these ramps to enter a freeway in emergencies.

Plans to install wrong-way driver detection technology are currently hyper-focused on the urban Las Vegas valley, with those in more rural areas seeing no publicly announced proposals as of yet.

More information on the technology can be found on NDOT’s website.

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