Connecticut introducing new tech to prevent wrong-way crashes

Connecticut DOT is planning to adopt similar technology that has been used in Rhode Island

May 01, 2019
wrong-way vehicle incident detection systems

The Connecticut DOT (CDOT) is planning to test technology designed to combat wrong-way vehicle incidents.

CDOT had initially announced back in February 2017 that the same technology could be installed on state roadways within that same year, but the department has faced a few challenges in determining which areas would be best to place the tech. Back then, CDOT took a cue from their neighbors in Rhode Island on which technologies to adopt, as the Ocean State had been implementing wrong-way detection systems since 2015. The Rhode Island systems included the ability to activate LED lights, ringing sirens and highway message signs alerting road users to a potential wrong-way driver.

CDOT traffic officials told NBC News that the data that exists on where the wrong-way incidents are occurring in the state do not show specific hotspots, but that the incidents are happening in different locations. According to NBC, there have been 177 wrong-way crashes on divided highways in Connecticut since 2017, which have resulted in 15 fatalities.

CDOT still plans to adopt similar technology that has been used in Rhode Island. Such a system enables sensors to activate a warning system upon detection of a wrong-way driver moving up an off-ramp. When this happens, red flashing lights are activated, with a second sensor triggered if the driver fails to turn around at that moment. The second sensor will stream video feed of the roadway to a traffic management center. If the wrong-way driver continues in the same direction, another sensor sounds an audio alert inside the control center, and state police are notified.

So far, CDOT has only identified one location as a possible hotspot for wrong-way crashes—an I-84 off-ramp in Danbury—after two years of analysis. CDOT has said there were three wrong-way incidents in that area since 2015. The department will be rolling out the new tech in the area this fall, and will also be rolling out traffic cameras at various intersections across the state that can detect wrong-way vehicles. 

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Source: NBC CT (WVIT-TV)

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