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Brewer: Wrong-way drivers always an Arizona problem, but not publicized

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A former Arizona governor said wrong-way drivers were prevalent during her tenure but didn’t receive the same type of notoriety they do today.

Jan Brewer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Wednesday that the Arizona Department of Public Safety would routinely alert her of wrong-way incidents during her time as governor from 2009-2015.

“It really bothered me,” Brewer said. “I kept asking questions and (DPS) said we’ve always had a problem, it just always hasn’t been publicized.”

Brewer believes there are more wrong-way incidents now because there are more freeways and a higher Valley population.

The former governor said she asked for spikes to be added to freeway entrances but was told it would be too expensive of a project.

“I was willing to pay an extra two cents on something to put those dang spikes in and stop those drunks or mentally impaired people,” Brewer said.

There were 1,175 wrong-way incidents in the state from Jan. 1 to Aug. 12, according to numbers from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Last year through the same time, there were 1,057 incidents.

The most recent incident was Wednesday morning when a wrong-way driver made it across parts of two freeways in the East Valley before highway patrol troopers stopped the car.

The driver was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI.

“It’s so sad,” Brewer said. “I drive in fear at night. I drive in the right lane.”

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