Diadon Enterprises © 2018

FDOT tests wrong-way driver detection system on Howard Frankland Bridge | Dump Truck Company

Fox 13 new anchor

Screen shot from FOX 13 video.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has its new wrong-way driver detection system up and running on Howard Frankland Bridge, making it the first bridge in the Tampa Bay Area to test the new technology, FOX 13 reports.

Two crashes on the bridge last fall were the result of wrong-way drivers.

“There are six zones, three in the southbound direction and three in the northbound direction,” said FDOT District 7 spokesperson Kristen Carson, adding that cameras had been installed in those six areas, the news agency reports.

Carson explained that the locations of the cameras are indicated by green dots on a monitor at the traffic management center. If the system detects a car traveling the wrong direction, it sounds an alarm to alert workers. FDOT then puts up a message on its boards and immediately dispatches the Florida Highway Patrol to intercept the vehicle.

“If we can get a trooper out there quicker, we can notify police quicker, and we can get that driver off the road,” Carson told the news agency. “We know that it’s actually working because we had a car broken down on the bridge the other day, and a trooper pulled up to assist the driver and had to reverse to reposition his car. The alarms and sirens went off in this building because it detected a car going the wrong way, even though it was in reverse for just a few seconds. We believe this is going to save a life.”

If the new system works well on the Howard Frankland Bridge, FDOT plans to expand the program.