We have seen it all too much in the last several years.
Wrong way drivers on the freeways. Some are drunk. Some are just confused. Regardless of the reason, little has been done by the State to remedy or alleviate the dangers.
In May 2014, a Mesa police officer was killed when hit head-on by a wrong way driver that had been on the Valley freeway system for more than 35 miles.
Only a few days later, 3 members of a family lost their lives when a wrong way driver. On the I-17 for more than 30 miles, hit and killed them Only a few days after that, another Valley resident was killed by a driver on the freeway for 19 miles.
So, the State has announced that testing has begun at three spots in metro Phoenix for devices that are aimed at detecting wrong-way drivers.
The test is part of a larger effort by state transportation officials to reduce wrong-way crashes.
The system of radar and camera sensors sets off red lights on two wrong-way signs when a person is driving in the wrong direction. It also alerts transportation officials and the Arizona Department of Public Safety of such incidents.
The system was installed last week on the northbound exit at Interstate 17 exit to the Carefree Highway, the eastbound Interstate 10 exit at Ray Road, and the northbound Loop 101 off ramp at Thunderbird Road.
Here is the problem: Of the three wrong way collisions mentioned above, the State police was very aware of the wrong way drivers almost immediately.
The problem was not being able to detect them, but doing something about it Get the wrong-way driver off the highway; intercept them and disable them; protect the innocent people farther ahead by provided warning to them.
The State’s testing is a band-aid, and quite frankly, the wrong one. Be careful out there everyone