Skip in Skip




Do you know what to do if you’re in an accident?



The Arizona Transportation Board approved a $3.7 million plan to install a thermal-detection system on Interstate 17 in Phoenix to help prevent wrong-way drivers.

The action came a week after Gov. Doug Ducey called for stepped-up action to help deter wrong-way drivers on Valley freeways. That came a day after two people were killed in a wrong-way crash on a State Route 51 transition ramp connecting to Interstate 10 in Phoenix.

MORE: Suspect in fatal wrong-way crash ID’d; video shows moments before collision

The Arizona Department of Transportation has been planning to implement the system for months.

The system will use thermal-detection cameras to locate wrong-way vehicles. The system will alert the wrong-way driver, as well as other drivers and law enforcement, using flashing lights on freeway ramps, illuminated signs and messages on overhead boards, ADOT said in a press release.

The system is expected to begin construction sometime this fall on a 15-mile stretch along I-17 from I-10 to Loop 101, and be completed over several months, ADOT said, adding that the agency is exploring ways to begin the work sooner.

MORE: Ducey wants Arizona to get serious about stopping wrong-way drivers

 ADOT said it will be the first thermal-detection system in the United States. The state board approved the system at its meeting on June 9. 

Seven people have died in wrong-way crashes on Arizona highways so far this year. There were two such deaths last year.

In addition, 37 wrong-way incidents this year have involved impaired drivers.

ADOT officials said the state Department of Public Safety is most often alerted to a wrong-way driver by a 911 emergency call, and the agency urged motorists to be aware and alert emergency responders if they see a possible wrong-way driver on a Phoenix-area freeway.


Wrong-way driver crashes into exit-ramp wall on Loop 101 in Scottsdale

1 of 2 men killed in wrong-way freeway crash in Phoenix identified

Man dies in wrong-way collision after vehicle tumbles off Interstate 17

DPS: Wrong-way driver suspected of DUI blamed cold medicine



Read or Share this story: