TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: High-tech wrong-way alerts reducing accidents in Florida

Zero crashes reported in first three months of operation

February 12, 2015

A new wrong-way driver alert system in Florida has already helped improve safety in its first three months of operation, detecting six incidents in that timespan with no crashes reported.

The pilot project, deployed by the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), employs a ramp-based detection and deterrent system. LED-equipped wrong-way signs were installed at six interchanges and ten ramps on the Homestead Extension of the Florida Turnpike and five interchange ramps on the Sawgrass Expressway.

Each installation employs front and rear radar to detect when a vehicle has entered the wrong-way zone. The front radar activates the flashing LEDs as well as a high-definition camera that takes and analyzes images to confirm the vehicle is going the wrong way. Once the vehicle passes the rear radar, the images are wirelessly sent to a website monitored by a transportation management center and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP); notifications are sent, along with an audible alarm, within 60 seconds of detection.

Under FTE and FHP protocol, dynamic message signs alert drivers within a 20-mile radius traveling either direction of the impending danger.