NDOT's New 'Wrong Way Driver System' Installed in North Valleys
If you are driving through the North Valleys, you may have seen some construction on some of the off-ramps.
If you are driving through the North Valleys, you may have seen some construction on some of the off-ramps. These are the Nevada Department of Transportation’s new wrong way driver alert systems, and they are designed to save lives.
“Seems to be a very good system as far as getting drivers' attention as far as getting drivers to stop or turn around, so we did a lot of research on that," said P.D. Kiser, Assistant Chief Traffic Safety Officer for NDOT.
This advanced system, which is the first in the state, starts with a sensor that picks up a potential wrong way driver and starts flashing lights get the driver's attention. After a second radar detector is passed, an alert will be sent to both NDOT as well as NHP, so troopers can make their way out to the wrong way driver.
"Once they come through the zone typically what they will do is use radar and then video detection to notify our traffic manager centers," said Rodney D. Schilling, Assistant Chief Traffic Operations Engineer for NDOT.
An alert will also be sent to the message boards over the highways to alert other drivers of a potential wrong way driver. NDOT has also taken a look at how they can best get the attention of potential wrong way drivers with everything from flashing red lights instead of the standard yellow, to the height of the signs.
“We lowered the height because a lot your drowsy drivers or inattentive drivers, based on under the influence of something, their eyes are at a lower height," said Schilling.
And while these systems can’t guarantee that accidents won’t happen, statistics show that the two other states, Texas and Florida, using this type of system have seen a big increase in wrong way drivers turning around.
NDOT currently has 15 of these systems up on Highway 395 from north McCarran to Bordertown, which will be up and running by June, and plan on putting in several more as along I-80 in the future.