KGUN 9News


ADOT sensors could stop wrong-way drivers

Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 15:11:00-04

After another wrong-way driver hurt a Glendale family, drivers want to know what's being done about the ongoing problem.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says there's no perfect solution for wrong-way driving, especially when drivers are impaired.

Drivers have probably seen more and more wrong way signs that ADOT installed around the Valley recently, after a string of wrong-way crashes. But are they helping the problem?

"I mostly just want to know why it keeps happening," Phoenix driver Nick Robertson said.

This year, ADOT is working on a project that would use existing highway sensors to detect wrong-way vehicles and alert police and drivers.

"I'm pretty sure it's just not paying attention, maybe inexperienced drivers and the older crowd-- I hate to say it, but my dad's done it a few times," said Sean McAllister, who was traveling through Phoenix. 

Two out of three wrong-way crashes are caused by impaired drivers, according to a recent ADOT study. The study also cites that from 2004 to 2014, there were 245 wrong way crashes in Arizona, with 91 fatalities.

"That's scary. That really is," Robertson said.

Phoenix driver Dion Black remembers when he was barely able to swerve out of the way of a wrong-way driver several years ago.

"I realized that the car was coming my way because the lights were bright white instead of the orange glow. That was so close to losing my life over that," Black said. 

ADOT says the project they're working on would also include wrong-way vehicle detectors on freeway on-ramps.

There's no exact time frame for ADOT's project, but they say they plan to develop the technology this year.