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.
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.
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.
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2sm4QOL