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ADOT cameras catch two wrong-way drivers over weekend

PHOENIX — Modified traffic cameras captured at least two wrong-way drivers over the weekend in the Phoenix area, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

The thermal cameras, originally intended for traffic signal sequencing, were reprogrammed to detect wrong-way drivers under a new ADOT program.

The agency said one camera being tested near 75th Avenue and the Loop 101 caught a car heading west merging into the eastbound lanes early Sunday morning.

The car was found parked alongside the northbound Loop 101 near Grand Avenue.

The second car was spotted about 24 hours later. The car appeared to be driving west in the eastbound lanes of Bell Road before trying to enter the northbound Loop 101 going the wrong way.

The driver then turned around and presumably drove off down Bell Road. Troopers did not locate the car.

The cameras worked as intended. They triggered alerts to both ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety and also activated overhead sign boards.

The modified cameras were being tested as others were installed along a 15-mile corridor of Interstate 17 in Phoenix.

The new cameras, once installed, will cause lights to flash at wrong-way drivers to get them to stop. They will also alert authorities and make traffic cameras turn toward the driver so the vehicle can be tracked.

The new cameras should be installed by November and be operational early next year.

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