SAFETY: Pair of wrong-way driving prevention projects underway in Florida

Work will consist of replacing vehicle detection systems, enlarging overhead signage

March 11, 2014

Following on the heels of a spring 2013 study of wrong-way driving (WWD), the Florida Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) has kicked off two pilot projects designed to reduce WWD crashes. One project will focus on the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike (HEFT) while the other covers four intersections along I-10 near Tallahassee.

The original study drew data from several sources, including Florida DOT’s Crash Analysis Reporting system, 911 phone calls, SunGuide software event data and citations by the Florida Highway Patrol.

For the HEFT project, work will proceed in four phases on an 18-mile portion featuring 10 exit ramps. Phase 1, already completed, saw the replacement of all directional safety signs—Wrong Way, Do Not Enter, etc.—for oversized versions. FTE also painted new wrong-way arrows on all of the exit ramps.

Phase 2 of the HEFT project will implement new vehicle-alert technology while replacing 12 mainline detection devices, which will alert drivers and officials at FTE’s transportation management center of wrong-way movement. Phase 3 may include installation of LED blinker Wrong Way signs on the exit ramps, which could also send alerts to the traffic management center. 

The I-10 project will see FDOT experiment with a variety of WWD countermeasures, including vehicle-activated LED Wrong Way signs, larger overhead signs and pavement through arrows with ONLY markings in through lanes to discourage turns into exit ramps.