What to Know
- The Sunrise Highway on Long Island has seen 21 wrong-way incidents since 2010
- There are 33 exits that are missing "Wrong Way" and "Do Not Enter" signs as mandated by the state DOT
- DOT says it's investigating and expects to have answers this week
The Department of Transportation has made good on its promise to install new traffic warning signs on the Sunrise Highway after the I-Team reported that the highway with a deadly history was missing critical mandated signage.
Less than 48 hours after the I-Team report aired, the DOT says it's installed 229 "Wrong Way" and "Do Not Enter" signs at 30 ramps on the Sunrise Highway, which has seen more than 20 cases of wrong-way driving since 2010 -- including two fatal crashes that killed three people in 2016.
The I-Team investigation found 33 exits on the Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County do not have the “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter" signs mandated by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Exit ramps are the way most wrong-way drivers enter a highway.
The I-Team's cameras captured DOT crews at work as they installed the new signs Thursday.
People who live along Sunrise Highway say the lack of signage has been a problem. They welcomed the quick action.
"I'm happy they did," said Al Rose of Islip. "I think there are other places on Sunrise where signs should go up."
State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County), who contacted the DOT after viewing the I-Team's report, said he's stunned by the state's quick response.
"It was that important -- there were lives on the line, and we didn't want another tragedy," he said.
"I have to commend the I-Team because in my lifetime of government service, this is the fastest governmental response to a problem I've ever seen in my life," he said.
Signs are just the beginning: the DOT says they're investigating other technologies that go a long way to prevent wrong-way driving.