A new driver safety message debuted yesterday on Interstate 93 south, but another crash disrupted the morning commute anyway.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation, responding to recent complaints about crashes slowing the commute, posted the message on an electronic message board at mile marker 5.2, south of Exit 3.
“High incident area — slow down,” the message cautioned drivers.
“It started this morning,” DOT’s Pete Stamnas said. “It will be running weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.”
The message may be displayed elsewhere along the highway.
“We are also considering placing the message on other boards in the area,” Stamnas said.
Stamnas, the NHDOT official managing the $800 million I-93 widening project, moved to get the message up in response to complaints over recent crashes from Exit 3 to the Massachusetts border.
There were three accidents last week alone, causing backups at morning rush hour.
Yesterday, another accident in the trouble zone, just north of Exit 2 in Salem, caused a backup into Londonderry at about 8 a.m.
State police said no one was hurt when a tractor trailer struck a sport utility vehicle from behind.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the operator of the tractor trailer tanker was inattentive and following too closely,” Sgt. Paul Hunt said in a press release. “As a result, when the SUV slowed, the operator of the tanker could not slow quickly enough and struck the SUV from behind.”
State police identified the driver of the tractor trailer as Dany Brassard, 44, of Quebec. The SUV was driven by Bok Kim, 57, of Windham.
The crash is being investigated by Trooper Natalie Glisson.
The vehicles were towed from the crash scene. About 50 feet of guardrail were damaged in the crash.
Lt. Chris Wagner, commander of Troop B, said one lane of the highway remained closed for about an hour.
Meanwhile, Wagner said state police are moving forward with their stepped-up enforcement of the I-93 south area in response to recent crashes.
Drivers can expect them to be visible and vigilant.
“We’re going to marathon this, not sprint this out,” Wagner said.
The traffic issue generated many comments yesterday on eagletribune.com.
“I personally don’t feel that signs will make a difference,” wrote one reader, urging tougher enforcement. “Hit the bad drivers in the pockets.”
Others blamed poor drivers.
“No one uses their directional signal any more. This makes me crazy,” a reader said.
One reader thought people just need to take the time to drive better.
“Another thing that would help but is impossible to legislate is better personal time management,” the reader posted. “Just because your vehicle is capable of being driven at 100 mph does not make you or the drivers around you on the highway future NASCAR stars.”