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ADOT wins national award for I-17 wrong-way driving alert system

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation announced Thursday it has received a national award for its wrong-way vehicle alert system on Interstate 17.

The system was one of seven projects to win a 2019 National Roadway Safety Award from the Federal Highway Administration and Roadway Safety Foundation, according to a press release.

The $4 million alert system uses 90 thermal cameras to detect vehicles traveling the wrong way along 15 miles of freeway between the I-10 “Stack” interchange and the Loop 101 interchange.

The system alerts law enforcement, allowing troopers to respond more quickly than if they had to rely on 911 calls, the release stated.

The cameras can also trigger a wrong-way sign with flashing red lights meant to get the attention of the driver, and they can let ADOT know to place warnings to other vehicles on overhead message boards.

The system has detected more than 90 wrong-way drivers since it was installed in early 2018, according to the release.

The cameras may be used on other roads, including the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway opening next year, depending on an agency evaluation.

ADOT also recently received an award from the Phoenix Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its public safety campaign meant to reduce wrong-way crashes.


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