Wrong-way crashes in Phoenix: Detection system catches incidents

Wrong-way crashes in Phoenix: Detection system catches incidents
Posted at 10:55 AM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 19:11:52-04

Wrong-way detection systems set up across the Valley have been set off multiple times since their implementation.

ADOT put the detection-and-warning system in place in January along 15 miles of I-17 to help deter wrong-way drivers on the freeway. As of August 8, 2018, ABC15 has reported on 24 wrong-way incidents in the Valley.

The system, which includes 90 thermal cameras and background-illuminated wrong-way signs, cost $3.7 million, according to ADOT.

FULL SECTION: Operation Safe Roads

As of August 8, a total of 33 incidents have occurred that have triggered the detection, according to ADOT.

Take a look at the map below to see where each wrong-way driver was detected, and what occurred after the detection.

With the system monitors already in place, officials say 33 vehicles have been detected entering I-17 off-ramps and frontage roads from its implementation through the end of July.

According to ADOT records, there was one incident on July 22 where a vehicle entered the I-17 mainline at Thunderbird Road, exited the freeway at Greenway Road, corrected path and re-entered the freeway. DPS troopers then pulled the corrected vehicle over.

The only other detection that resulted in a wrong-way driver on the mainline lanes was on July 5 at Union Hill Drive.

Many drivers turned around in the correct direction on the exit ramps, according to ADOT records.

The most recent Valley wrong-way driving incident occurred on the I-17 near Dunlap Aveune on August 4, which resulted in an injury crash. It is not immediately clear if this incident triggered the detection system.

According to officials, the primary goal of this project is not to prevent all wrong-way crashes, but to reduce the risk of serious crashes.

For context, Valley freeways have experienced a total of 24 wrong-way incidents in 2017, according to media reports.

Take a look at the map below for every 2018 media-reported wrong-way incident on Valley freeways. Toggle the option in map's menu to see 2017's incidents as well.