TRAFFIC SAFETY: Wrong-way driving detection system effective in stopping crashes in Rhode Island

May 6, 2016

The system has prevented accidents and injury in 47 wrong-way incidents so far

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is praising the state’s wrong-way driver detection system for keeping drivers safe on the roads.

According to RIDOT, since its inception last year, the technology prevented crashes where the systems are installed and a total of 47 wrong-way incidents ended safely with no injuries.

While working with members of the Rhode Island State Police, RIDOT identified 24 high-risk locations for possible wrong-way drivers and installed the technology along those stretches.

The technology is present at select ramps along I-95, I-195, Routes 10, 4, 6, and Route 6/10 at Memorial Boulevard in Providence.

The detectors were designed to sense if a driver is traveling in the wrong direction and the system alerts both the driver and RIDOT. When a wrong-way driver is detected, LED lights embedded in wrong-way signs flash at the driver. If the vehicle continues to travel in the wrong direction, state and local authorities are notified. A message is also displayed on the state’s overhead electronic signs on the highways to warn other drivers that the threat is in the area.

“It’s still early. We’d like to get a little more data. Maybe over a two to three year period to see just how effective they are,” said RIDOT managing engineer Bob Rocchio.