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Mesa company develops possible solution to wrong-way driver problems on Valley freeways

Posted: 10:08 PM, Mar 28, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-29 08:01:05-04

Steve Sigler has seen a lot in his 18 years in the sign business, but the recent wrong-way crash epidemic in Arizona has him very concerned.

He's the president of RU2 System, Inc., a company whose claim to fame includes the flashing speed limit warning signs commonly found in school and construction zones.

Sigler wonders if his company's new high-tech invention could stop the rash of wrong-way crashes.

RELATED: ADOT explains why calls for spike strips won't work for wrong-way drivers

"If you are impaired, and you see that going on...it's going to get your attention," said Sigler.

The signs he's created include high-intensity LED lights which activate when a wrong-way driver is detected. 

"We came up with this idea about a year ago and I'm trying to get someone's attention with it, because it's easy [to] install. It's very inexpensive," added Sigler. 

He says the secret is the smart box attached to the sign, which contains sophisticated sensors, a cell modem and a radar gun.

"It will even page somebody if a driver is going the wrong way," said Sigler. "It will tell you the intersection, how fast they are going, what time it happened, within usually 6 to 7 seconds."

The bright LEDs are solar powered and can be installed for less than $5,000 per location.

Sigler says the sign's valuable information can be sent directly to law enforcement or to warn other drivers via overhead freeway signs.

ADOT is trying to figure out which way to go with how to detect -- and ultimately prevent -- wrong-way incidents.

ADOT engineers are actively assessing a ramp-based detection and warning system by TraffiCalm that, when a wrong-way vehicle is detected, flashes bright LEDs on wrong-way signs.