PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — New technology is now in place to help prevent wrong-way crashes in Rhode Island, the Department of Transportation announced on Friday.
RIDOT says advanced wrong-way driving detection systems have been installed and will be active at 24 locations across the state.
The systems are programed to alert a driver who is traveling in the wrong direction, as well as police and other motorists in the area.
“Too many Rhode Islanders have lost their lives in wrong-way driving crashes,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “As a state, we must do all we can to reduce the incidence of wrong-way driving, which puts everyone on the road at risk.”
According to a statement by the department, there have been ten fatal wrong-way crashes in the state since 2008 — resulting in 13 deaths.
“Ensuring the safety of the traveling public is our top priority,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. “Doing projects such as this one is one way we demonstrate our commitment to safety, but it is not a cure-all. We must continue to explore innovative ways to increase safety on our highways and educate motorists on risky and criminal behaviors that are all too often associated with wrong-way crashes — such as driving under the influence.
The new system, which will begin operating this week, will sense if a driver has entered an off-ramp in the wrong direction.
The sensor will then activate a series of flashing signs along the roadways and display a message on overhead electric signs to warn other drivers.
The system will also notify police and take a picture of the vehicle in question.
“The innovative approach we are taking with the introduction of these systems statewide is a critical step forward in our ability to keep people safe in their travels around Rhode Island,”said Raimondo.