“Neon yellow warning signs will now be set up across Germany on hazardous motorway slipways,” Minister Ramsauer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in comments due to be published on Sunday.
The warning signs, which were piloted in 2010, will now be set up nationwide in an effort to alert drivers who may otherwise travel the wrong way down the motorway by mistake.
“1,800 cases of people driving the wrong way were registered last year,” said the minister, whose comments came after an 80 year-old driver was killed and three seriously injured on Friday after he drove the wrong way down the A92 motorway in Upper Bavaria, causing two separate head-on collisions.
On New Year’s Eve two were killed when several cars hit a lorry after the drunken driver attempted to turn around in the middle of the A1 motorway near Bremen.
But not everyone hurtling down motorways in the wrong direction does so by accident, said Ramsauer, and added that there was not much to be done about those who drive down the wrong side of the road on purpose.
“Many people who drive on the wrong side of the road do so on purpose. For various reasons: to save time, as a dare, suicide,” he said. “The people who do it on purpose just turn around in the middle of the motorway and drive in the other direction. A metal sign won’t stop that.”