Wrong Way Driver on I-395

by ARLnow.com September 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm 5,400 44 Comments

How exactly does this happen?

Arlington police pulled over a driver that was heading the wrong way this morning on southbound I-395, near Washington Boulevard.

After checking to make sure the car wasn’t stolen, and after making sure its owner wasn’t wanted for a crime, the officer blocked the right-hand traffic lane to allow the driver to safely turn around and head the right way.

It’s not the first time police have responded to a wrong-way driver on this stretch of highway. Back in March a wrong-way driver heading southbound in the northbound HOV lanes of I-395 collided head-on with a northbound vehicle near Arlington Ridge Road. The wrong-way driver fled the scene and the other driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

  • MB

    I proposed automatic loss of license. This, there? Prima facie case that you’re too ()*(@#@ dumb to drive.

  • Steve

    As i’ve stated many time before, this area has things like this happen because the area is flooded with sociopaths who don’t even think before they do.

    • drax

      The problem with your theory is that this endangers the idiot’s life as much as anyone else’s. You’ve got to be more than a sociopath to pull this stunt – you have to be blind or drunk or stupid.

      • Mike Oksmal

        Being a sociopath can make you oblivious to your surroundings.

        • Ted Bundy

          No kidding, I’m always getting lost.

  • stevis23

    “It’s not just one, honey. It’s a whole a bunch of them!”

    • CW

      “Yes dearie, pass the tea and crumpets!”

  • South Arlington

    Can we finally start taking licenses away from the olds that aren’t fit to drive anymore?

    • Tabby

      I thought that when I read that Reese Witherspoon was hit by an 84-yr-old in a crosswalk.

      • Mindermast

        What was the 84 year doing in the crosswalk?

    • Sam

      Or require mandatory retesting for everyone every 10 years. Like many other licenses and certifications, drivers licenses should have to be renewed.

      • drax

        Liberal socialist regulator!

      • TC

        .. mandatory testing every 10 years for everyone… sure as long at you don’t mind if we raise taxes to cover the extra costs to retest the whole population so often…

        • LVGuy

          Or you could just raise the license fees…

    • Mindermast

      Children’s risk for injury is 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents.

      source: Washington Post article, “Are grandparents safer drivers than mom and dad?” July 18, 2011 from an analysis of State Farm insurance claims for 2003-07 car crashes.

  • G

    Maybe they thought it was HOV going into DC… haha

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Trying to figure our how he got that far; that is for how long he was going the wrong direction. If he got on via the Wash Blvd exit ramp, he would have had to have been wrong-way on Washington Boulevard for some time.

    • Eric

      If he was on the southbound side and going the wrong way, wouldn’t that mean he had to get on somewhere south of Washington Boulevard, like Glebe Road?

      • Mike

        Nope – probably by pentagon city…

        • Eric

          But there’s no exit from southbound I-395 to Pentagon City once you’re past the left exit for Route 1 southbound. And if he got on going the wrong way there, he wouldn’t be anywhere near Washington Blvd — he’d be practically on the 14th St. Bridge.

          It’s possible he could get on from the Pentagon parking lots — would that be considered “near Washington Boulevard”?

          • Mike Oksmal

            The next interchange south of that photo is Glebe, followed by Arlington Mill. If you drive to the end of Arlington Mill and go straight through the light, you end up on 395 going the wrong way.

          • Eric

            Arlington Mill makes a lot of sense — more so than accidentally turning from South Glebe.

          • Mike Oksmal

            Maybe, and maybe not. If you are going north on Glebe and want to go south on 395, you need to exit before you go under 395. Anyone thinking that was a regular cloverleaf type intersection might proceed under 395 and try to exit to the right, thinking they would be going up a ramp that curls around and goes south. It is a sharp 90 right, at the light, but you could possibly do it that way too.

  • Bob32

    I can’t believe they not only let him continue driving right then; they punished the law-abiding motorists by blocking a lane just so this moron could rejoin traffic. Nice work, ACPD.

    • JackFan

      No kidding. I thought the same thing. WTF?!? How did this idiot not get a citation…?

  • Rick

    Taking the licenses away from the “old’, there are many “young” ones that can’t drive either. How about the ones that use the space between the steering wheel and dashboard to drive. Guess I just wonder how they get on the wrong side of the interstate?

    • madisonmanor

      Because in this area, you don’t need to read, write or understand a lick of English to get a driver’s license. And the driving test is a joke – the driving schools around here only take you on the highway when there aren’t as many jerks around instead of during rush hour.

      Would you know what the following meant (unless you read & understand Russian)?
      неправильному пути
      “wrong way”

    • South Arlington

      Confused what you’re saying. Who uses the space between the steering wheel and the dash other than olds that are hunched/slumped over the entire steering wheel? Olds have issues beyond poor driving skills – they have physical issues like vision, reaction times and reflexes that they are often unwilling to admit (like Rick) but end up putting all other motorists at risk.

  • steve85

    Driver is probably from Clarendon

  • Vinny

    AAAUUUGGGHHH!!! What is that big yellow thing in the sky?? Report please!

  • blahnikgal

    Rain-induced dementia. So to be known as part of “The Climate Change Defense” 🙂

  • Steve

    I’ve seen people in broad daylight drive down the wrong way of 10th St N a little bit past the intersection with Washington Blvd towards 50.. It was around the ABC store and some g uy just starts driving the wrong way on 10th street. I was walking on the sidewalk and just absolutely dumbfounded, and some guy was jogging past me, looking at the car, and I say “it’s a bit early to be this drunk, isn’t it?”

    • Vinny

      True story?

    • rah

      How about the jerks who are heading south on N Fillmore to the intersection of Washington & 10th, and blatantly drive past the huge Do Not Enter sign where the road is one-way going North. I always honk at these people as I drive past them going North after turning from Washington, and generally they have the nerve to give me the finger, even though they are in the wrong!

      • cyclist

        Motorists are all a bunch of scofflaws! Heehee.

  • I got that PMA

    I saw a guy driving an Audi the wrong way on N Glebe Rd , close to CACI building. He didn’t give a f*ck. It was our problem, not his. He was cool and calm, up to the light, cross back over and cut everyone off.
    Welcome to Arlington.

    • Steve

      It’s sorta like people on wilson blvd driving straight through a red light when the green left arrow comes on.. I see it EVERY time i’m on wilson blvd. especially intersection with glebe.

      • Kirk

        Yep, saw that at Glebe and Fairfax last night.

  • JB

    From a source, the guy spun out on the wet roadway and ended up facing the wrong direction in the right shoulder. He was NOT actually driving the wrong way. This is why the PD let him go once it was determined that his car was drivable.

    • Richard Cranium

      Please don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. I would like to continue speculating on how he could have driven for so long in the wrong direction without knowing it. Thank you.

    • Josh S

      I don’t get it. Either you or ARLnow is wrong. Because ARLnow is clearly saying the person was pulled over for going the wrong way. In truth, I’m guessing ARLnow has the story wrong, given how implausible it is that someone could actually drive the wrong way on a freeway without causing an accident or a major traffic tie-up.

      But just to add my two cents anyway – cause it’s fun. – Around here, I’m guessing there is a greater chance this was not an old person but rather an immigrant who is new to driving. South Arlington in particular has a large population of such folks. I agree with those who suggest that the process of obtaining a driver’s license should be made more difficult. It appears that people are able to get a license without first being tested on basic things like – you can’t drive 40 mph on a highway, you shouldn’t make a turn into traffic if making the turn will cause cars already in the traffic to put on their brakes – this is the one that gets me the most. It’s like people WAIT until you are close enough and THEN turn into your lane. W.T.F?!?

  • Kirk

    True story: I was on the connector from the GW to 495 North. As I come around the curve, where the breakdown lane starts, there is a young woman (with earbuds in) who somehow got her car turned around and is now going the wrong way in the breakdown lane, apparently to go back up the connector and go the the wrong way on the GW. Genius.

  • Werner

    Real simple folks, #1- test must be taken in english no exceptions. #2- you must be able to read and not have someone read the test to you. #3- everyone must retest every 4 years at the dmv and must do a written and practicle driver course. #4- this must be done country wide. #5- if someone wants to drive from another country inthe US then they have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Till this is done nothing will change. Also all vehicles including in police cars need to have something that disables all cell phone use as well. And yes im guilty of talking on the phone as well like everyone else is.


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