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If you miss an exit ramp, encounter a traffic back-up, or want to change directions for any reason on an interstate highway or freeway, you may wonder what to do. The one thing you should not do is make a U-turn using the median crossover that connects with the lanes in the opposite direction. The signs warning that U-turns at freeway crossovers are illegal should be your first clue that this action is not only against the law—it’s extremely dangerous, too.
“If you slow down to make an illegal U-turn at a crossover, other drivers following you at highway speeds may not be able to slow down and react in time. And when you attempt to merge back into traffic lanes from the crossover, your vehicle will be re-entering at less than highway speeds and in the path of oncoming drivers when they least expect it,” says State Patrol Captain Jeff Frenette of the Northwest Region. “Instead of making an illegal and dangerous U-turn, you should drive to the next exit and then use the overpass to get to the on-ramp on the opposite side. It’s well worth the extra time and distance.”
By law, crossovers may only be used by law enforcement and other authorized vehicles. Law enforcement officers and drivers of other authorized vehicles are well trained and extremely cautious when using freeway crossovers. For all other drivers, a violation for illegally crossing a divided highway in Wisconsin costs $263.50.