CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation announced Tuesday a first-of-its-kind system to detect and deter wrong-way drivers in Ohio is being installed.
The system, that will be along an 18-mile stretch of I-71 in Hamilton County, will include 92 electronic signs and 82 detection devices at 23 locations from downtown to Fields-Ertel Road.
According to ODOT, when the system is activated, LED lights around the edge of several “wrong way” and “do not enter” signs begin blinking. An alert is also sent to the ODOT Management Center in Columbus.
“Although wrong-way crashes are rare, they are often deadly, and I believe that investing in this new technology will reduce the number of drivers traveling the wrong way on our interstates, prevent crashes, and save lives,” Governor Mike DeWine said in a news release. “Improving our roadways to enhance driver safety is essential for improving the quality of life for people who live, work, and travel in our state, and this project is an important step forward for Ohio.”
Officials said wrong way crashes made up only 0.01 percent of all crashes in Ohio last year, but they are 40 times more likely to be deadly.
“This section of I-71 was selected using criteria that includes 911 calls, wrong-way and alcohol crashes, the number of alcohol establishments located within close proximity, and ramp traffic volumes,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said in the release.
This is the first time these detection devices have been installed as a system in the state of Ohio.
Two stand-alone devices have been pilot tested in Columbus and Cleveland.