PHOENIX (KSAZ) - For the first time, people are seeing the Valley's brand new wrong-way detection system at work, as those cameras captured at least two wrong-way drivers in the act, over the weekend.
In all, DPS officials said there were four wrong-way incidents, during the past weekend alone. They were all stopped in time, but two of them were stopped, because of technology.
"We have been testing the cameras out there without a lot of fanfare," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT. "The thermal camera can actually be set up in a way where you use the computer, and set up an array that the camera is looking at, where they're actually looking at the individual lanes."
In this case, that proved to be crucial, with individual sections lighting up and a message of an "Inverse direction" driver flashing on the screen.
"Once the alert is there, our operators in the Traffic Operations Center, they need to utilize the overhead message boards right away," said Nintzel.
ADOT knows that from there, it's up to DPS to try and get there on time.
"We can't guarantee that all wrong way drivers can be stopped," said Nintzel. "In this particular case, we know that the camera played a role in notifying DPS very quickly."
Both drivers that tried to enter the 101 were cited for DUI, and their names have not been released.