ARIZONA NEWS

Program ongoing to decrease wrong-way freeway driving in Phoenix area

Aug 1, 2019, 11:32 AM

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – The Arizona agency responsible for managing the highway system said Thursday there were still a few months to go before it completed a lengthy evaluation of the pilot program designed to cut down on the number of wrong-way crashes.

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s 90 thermal imaging cameras have detected more than 70 wrong-way drivers at Phoenix-area freeway off-ramps since going online in January 2018.

The $4 million detection and warning system’s cameras were placed along a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 17 through Phoenix between the Interstate 10 and Loop 101 interchanges.

Three wrong-way drivers have been caught on Phoenix-area freeways since Sunday but not before one of them slammed into a car on Loop 101 in Glendale near Union Hills Drive, killing the second driver.

An ADOT spokesman said in an email Thursday to KTAR News 92.3 FM that it was “important to note that wrong-way technology, including thermal cameras, cannot prevent someone from being a wrong-way driver, nor is it designed to physically prevent crashes.”

The system detects when a vehicle is driving against traffic on an off-ramp or frontage road.

When the system is triggered, wrong-way signs with flashing red lights come on in an attempt to get the driver’s attention.

The system also alerts ADOT, which puts “Wrong Way Driver/Ahead/Exit Freeway” warnings on its overhead message boards, and the Department of Public Safety.

ADOT has also added larger wrong-way signs at many freeway interchanges across the state and lowered them.

There are plans to add more signs.

Officials planned to use the research from the pilot program to determine “which countermeasures can be used elsewhere.”

The department expected to finish the evaluation by the end of the year.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

Array

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A two-year-old girl nearly drowned on Saturday in Chandler. (Pexels photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old ‘breathing and alert’ after nearly drowning in Chandler

Fire personnel were called to a near-drowning incident in Chandler involving a two-year-old girl on Saturday.

8 hours ago

Exzavion Williams is in jail more than 15 months after a deadly shooting in Phoenix. (MCSO mugshot)...

KTAR.com

Arrest made from February 2023 shooting that killed Phoenix teen

Detectives arrested a man for murder and armed robbery in a homicide case from last year, authorities said Saturday.

8 hours ago

dual-branded hotel groundbreaking...

Damon Allred

Dual-branded hotel coming to Phoenix in 2025 breaks ground

Mayor Kate Gallego was among those present for the groundbreaking on Tuesday of a new dual-branded hotel coming soon to Phoenix.

9 hours ago

Two brothers were arrested weeks after a dead body was removed from a car that was on fire in a can...

KTAR.com

Pair of brothers arrested weeks after a dead body was found in Phoenix canal

Detectives arrested a pair of brothers after a dead body was found in a car on fire last month in west Phoenix.

10 hours ago

A bear was killed by Arizona game officials after it injured a teenager in northern Arizona. (AZ Ga...

Associated Press

Bear shot dead by Arizona game officers after swipe attack on teen in mountain cabin

A black bear was shot and killed by Arizona fish and game officers after it entered a home through an open door and injured a teenager.

11 hours ago

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria will open a new location in Surprise this fall. (Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria)...

KTAR.com

Chicago pizza chain Lou Malnati’s announces new Surprise location

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria will open its ninth Valley location this fall. The popular chain plans to open a new location in Surprise.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Program ongoing to decrease wrong-way freeway driving in Phoenix area