North Texas Explores New Wrong-Way Driver Detection, Alert System

TTI is working with the North Texas Tollway Authority NTTA to test equipment

This week, there have been two fatal wrong way crashes across North Texas.

The first was Monday morning in Dallas, where a 57-year-old man who was driving in the correct direction was killed.

The second was Wednesday morning in Mesquite, where the person driving correctly and the person driving the wrong way were killed.

Annually in Texas, about 240 wrong way driving incidents are reported, but research is leading to advances in keeping drivers safe.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted a study and found that flashing wrong way signs decreased wrong way incidents by almost 40% in San Antonio. Those findings prompted The Texas Department of Transportation to add flashing signs to several cities, including Fort Worth.

TTI has also looked at advanced technology using connected vehicle technology.

"The technology that's used to connect vehicles detects the wrong way driver, sends a message to a traffic management center, alerts the wrong way driver and alerts right-way drivers using in vehicle messages," TTI Research Engineer Melisa Finley explained.

TTI is working with the North Texas Tollway Authority NTTA to test similar equipment.

"We are investigating whether their systems can be adapted to our network. Testing could begin at some point next year. We are still determining equipment needs and how that equipment 'talks' to our network," NTTA representative Michael Rey said.

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