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Where is ADOT's wrong-way detection system?

Five years after the pilot program was deployed, where is the wrong-way driver detection system?

PHOENIX — In 2017 the Arizona Department of Transportation rolled out a wrong-way driver detection system that it hoped would give people a warning about wrong-way drivers on Valley freeways. 

The system used thermal cameras to see when a driver got on I-17 from the offramp and was headed the wrong way. 

That detection would then alert ADOT to activate the reader boards and warn other drivers, and let DPS troopers know what was happening even before anyone on the freeway would call 911.

Five years later, where is this system now?

ADOT program's expansion

ADOT tells 12 News it's been expanding the wrong-way driver system over the past few years. 

It now covers large parts of valley freeways, but not all of it. 

ADOT says there are wrong-way cameras in these locations: 

  • Loop 101 (Price Freeway) between US 60 and Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) in Chandler.
  • Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) between I-17 and Princess Drive in the North Valley.
  • Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) between 67th Avenue and Bell Road (northwest Valley) and at the Loop 101/Northern Avenue interchange in the West Valley.
  • Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway) between I-10 (Ahwatukee area) and I-10 (West Phoenix).
  • Loop 303 from Indian School Road in Goodyear to I-17 in north Phoenix.
  • Thermal cameras also are operating at intersections along SR 347 in the Maricopa area.

ADOT says it hopes to keep expanding the system as soon as there's money available for it. 

What should you do?

When those reader boards activate and warn of an oncoming wrong-way driver, DPS said you should get off the freeway as soon as possible.

But a DPS spokesman also said you should slow way down while you're still on the freeway and then move to the far right lanes.

This lets you get off the freeway faster, but it may also move you away from an oncoming car.

From a wrong-way driver's perspective, the HOV lane is where they got on the freeway. From that perspective, the "normal" right lane would be their HOV lane. 

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