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New device alerts authorities to wrong-way drivers

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — Despite traffic signs and warnings, too often, drivers still enter the freeway the wrong way.

According to Caltrans, the number of wrong way incidents in San Diego and Imperial Counties are on average 380 to 460 per year.

Just a couple of weeks ago, in Chula Vista, an 86-year-old woman accidentally drove onto the I-5 going the wrong way and smashed into four vehicles.

Miraculously - no one was seriously hurt.

To help reduce the number wrong was incidents Caltrans is implementing a warning system on the I-15 freeway, as a pilot project.

"When a wrong way driver enters the ramp within 100 to 150 feet there's two radar detectors that are mounted down the ramp that detect the wrong way driver," said Caltrans spokesperson Troy Bucko.

The signs will light up with flashing red lights. A camera on the sign will take pictures of the driver and alert CHP.

"And make 911 call to dispatch and send pics to them so they have notification of the driver," said Bucko.

9 off-ramps along the 15 will get this enhanced warning systems, starting from El Cajon Boulevard up to the SR-78.

The other exit ramps already have enhanced red markings, which alone, have already made a difference.

"Just with our markers itself within the last 9 months, we've noticed a 40 percent decrease in incidents reported to CHP," Bucko said.

#safety #roads #transportation #innovation #national

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