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How Flawed-Approach Freeway Driver Detection Methods Work

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A red wrong-way sign posted alongside a highway

The pink wrong-way signal is the literal first line of protection for each state DOT.
Picture: Artur Widak/NurPhoto (Getty Pictures)

Flawed-way freeway driver detection techniques have gotten extra commonplace throughout the nation. Sadly, the implementation of those security techniques is a response by state departments of transportation to a rise in deadly collisions attributable to drivers taking their vehicles the flawed manner. In line with the Nationwide Transportation Security Board (NTSB), about 500 folks per yr have been killed in wrong-way crashes between 2015 and 2018. Between 2010 and 2014, 375 folks have been killed every year in wrong-way collisions.

Methods fluctuate from state to state however counter wrong-way drivers through the use of the identical broad three-step system: detection, verification and response. The detection step is primarily automated and centered on detecting wrong-way drivers as rapidly as attainable, driving up the freeway off-ramp. Arizona makes use of a thermal digital camera array. Florida makes use of a radar system. Connecticut makes use of a system of 360-degree cameras. As soon as a driver is detected, flashing pink lights are triggered on the roadside wrong-way indicators, and an alert is distributed to the state DOT’s visitors administration heart.

A diagram of the Arizona Department of Transportation's wrong-way detection system

A diagram of the Arizona Division of Transportation’s wrong-way detection system
Graphic: ADOT

The subsequent two steps are supposed to be finished in fast succession. The visitors administration heart must confirm the alert isn’t a false alarm by its CCTV digital camera system. As soon as the wrong-way alert is verified, the response to the emergency state of affairs instantly begins.

The suitable legislation enforcement businesses are dispatched to intercept the wrong-way driver. On the identical time, piece of email indicators will alert drivers going within the appropriate path in regards to the wrong-way driver and instruct them to take the closest exit off the freeway. Highways with ramp meters may also present a everlasting pink gentle to drivers till the flawed manner driver passes the on-ramp. Ideally, the driving force ought to notice their life-threatening error or be stopped by the police earlier than colliding head-on with visitors.

The NTSB discovered drunk drivers have been most probably to be wrong-way drivers. The company reported that 60 p.c of wrong-way drivers had a blood alcohol focus equal to or greater than 0.08 grams per deciliter, the authorized restrict in each state. Clearly the simplest answer needs to be to cease folks from consuming and driving. Although, we needs to be making an effort to forestall drivers from being critically injured or killed attributable to another person’s reckless misdeed, regardless.

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