MdTA calls for safety changes for the Bay Bridge

ANNAPOLIS - Expect to see some changes if you plan to cross the Bay Bridge later this year.

There have been several high-profile crashes on the bridge in recent years, including in July of 2013, when a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a Calvert County woman's car.  The car plunged down into the Chesapeake Bay; the driver survived.

Just three days later there was another crash -- this time head on, during the "two-way" traffic pattern that forces drivers to cross the bridge as oncoming traffic speeds past in the opposite direction, with no barrier between them.

The victim in that crash had serious injuries, and had to be flown to Shock Trauma

Cindy Herbert is his sister.  “He was heading home, to the Eastern Shore, and it was a truck coming the other direction supposedly lost steering, came over in his lane and sideswiped him,” she said.

Her brother is recovering.

Now the MDTA has announced what it calls “safety enhancements” aimed at preventing future crashes.

The agency will require drivers to use their headlights when crossing the Bay Bridge.

And new signs will be installed, warning drivers what their speed is, that congestion is ahead, and reminding them not to tailgate.

Drivers we spoke with were not impressed.

“I don't really see that being helpful,” said Sally Duquette of Queen Anne’s County.  She says she believes there are changes that could be made, that would help.

“Many other states have the toll facilities way before the actually getting on the bridge,” she said.  “I don't think their feeder system is good the signs are irregular.”

The MDTA’s enhancements do not do away with two-way traffic..

“I've lived over there for nine years and I think I've done it a total of four times,” said Robin Yetter of Queen Anne's County.

But she says she knows the two-way pattern is necessary to keep traffic moving.

Even after what happened to her brother, Cindy Herbert actually seeks out the two-way traffic lane.

“You just have to keep an eye posted. You've just got to keep a lookout,” she said.

The MDTA says those changes will be put into place before the Summer travel season.

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