PHOENIX - Arizona's newly programmed thermal wrong-way driver detection system captured two such early-morning incidents on Loop 101 in the northwest Valley over the weekend.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the system detected a wrong-way vehicle entering eastbound lanes at 75th Avenue early Sunday morning. Authorities used message boards to warn right-way drivers that there was a wrong-way driver headed their way.
Troopers from the Department of Public Safety found the vehicle stopped on the shoulder on Loop 101 near Grand Avenue.
The second incident was at Bell Road and the Agua Fria Freeway early Monday morning.
The vehicle was headed west in eastbound lanes of Bell Road before driving up the northbound off-ramp from Loop 101. Fortunately, an ADOT release said, the driver turned around at the top of the ramp. Troopers went to the scene but didn't find the vehicle or driver.
According to the release, ADOT is testing the cameras at 11 freeway interchanges to detect wrong-way drivers going up off-ramps.
While ADOT is testing the thermal cameras, it's also working to install a wrong-way detection and warning system on I-17 in Phoenix. The release said the system, which will include signage for both wrong-way and right-way drivers who are in danger, is scheduled to be operational by early next year.