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ADOT wins award for wrong-way alert system

Posted at 5:29 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 10:45:14-04

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation has received an award for its effort to stop wrong-way drivers.

The Federal Highway Administration is recognizing the wrong-way alert system along I-17.

According to the latest figures ABC15 acquired from ADOT, more than 15 people have died this year because of a wrong-way driver. Many of the incidents happened along Valley freeways. The majority of the wrong-way drivers were impaired.

The wrong-way alert system on I-17 was the first of its kind in the country. A 15-mile stretch of the freeway uses thermal cameras to detect and track wrong-way vehicles while also immediately alerting ADOT and the Department of Public Safety.

The system also alerts other drivers with overhead message boards.

Since the system was installed last year on I-17, it has detected more than 90 wrong-way drivers, nearly all of whom turned around on off-ramps.

ADOT officials are evaluating elements of the Wrong-Way Alert Program to see if they should be used on other Valley freeways, including L-202 South Mountain.

For more information about ADOT's award and the wrong-way alert system, click here.