To combat the rising trend of wrong-way driving (WWD) crashes in the US, VHB’s traffic engineers have been equipping state transportation agencies with preventative intelligent transportation system (ITS) countermeasures. The solar-powered systems use incoming radar to detect a vehicle approaching from the wrong direction, and flashing LED wrong-way alert signs activate to alert the driver. If outgoing radar confirms the driver has not corrected their course, the system’s web-based software uses cellular communication to alert the relevant authorities.
VHB has been working with Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation (RIDOT) since 2013 to install WWD detection systems at select ramps, along with enhanced signing, striping, and geometric improvements. RIDOT’s data shows that the 29 ramps with the detection system had only one crash and no fatalities in the seven years after it was installed. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has also taken similar steps to confront this roadway hazard, implementing a WWD detection pilot program at 16 highway off-ramps. Of the 50 WWD incidents recorded by MassDOT since the system was installed in 2022, no accidents have occurred and 35 drivers self-corrected. VHB’s ITS engineers have also been supporting Florida’s Department of Transportation (FDOT) in its Wrong-Way Driving Initiative to curb WWD collisions, designing more than 45 thermal camera WWD detection systems throughout the state. VHB continues to advance the initiative, installing WWD detection systems at 44 exit ramps across three expressways through Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise design-build project.
VHB’s Orlando-based team has developed software for a WWD detection system manufacturer that allows integration with leading-edge light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology. The software provides reporting functionality and allows users the ability to classify WWD events, monitor the operation of the system equipment, and test the system detection devices.