PHOENIX - A first-in-the-nation pilot wrong-way vehicle detection and warning system is being installed right now in Phoenix. With so many devastating wrong-way crashes in the Valley, ADOT is now in the very beginning stages of rolling out the new system in hopes of saving lives.

It is supposed to alert DPS and other drivers right away, when a vehicle is going the wrong way on local freeways, says ADOT spokesman, Doug Nintzel.

"(It) actually detects a wrong way vehicle on a ramp so that we are alerted right away," Nintzel said.

Here’s how it works. ADOT says thermal cameras will trigger wrong way signs with flashing lights, warning the wrong way driver. Sensors then alert ADOT and DPS right away.

“From there, we’re able to immediately light up the overhead message boards so that there is a message for drivers going in the right direction, that a wrong way driver has been detected," Nintzel said.

This weekend, crews started mounting the thermal cameras, installing cable and doing rewiring work at I-17 and Indian School.

It's a $3.7 million project on a 15-mile stretch of I-17, aimed at reducing the risk of any more tragedies.

“We can’t prevent all bad things from happening but we can work on trying to reduce the risk of some of these,” Nintzel said.

Future road restrictions will be in places at other spots on I-17. 12 News will always keep you updated of those very important changes to your commute.


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