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Designs underway to spot wrong-way drivers

A wrong-way driver led to a fiery collision on Tuesday in Phoenix. The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning a test project to put sensors in a Phoenix freeway to detect wrong-way drivers. (KPHO/KTVK via AP)

A wrong-way driver led to a fiery collision on Tuesday in Phoenix. The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning a test project to put sensors in a Phoenix freeway to detect wrong-way drivers. (KPHO/KTVK via AP)

DEERFIELD (AP) — Four people were killed and two more critically injured in a crash Wednesday the Wisconsin State Patrol says was caused by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 94 near Deerfield.

Officers responded to a complaint of a sport utility vehicle being driven erratically. The SUV turned around and headed against traffic, colliding with two cars.

In 2013, there were 43 reports of wrong-way driving in Milwaukee County alone — up 26 percent from the previous year, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department.

Nationally, there were 360 deaths resulting from 260 wrong-way collisions in 2015, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

But now, one city in Arizona has begun testing freeway sensors that will alert authorities to wrong-way drivers.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning a test project to put sensors in a Phoenix freeway to detect wrong-way drivers. The department announced the project in late November 2015, and an agency spokesman says construction to install the system on Interstate 17 in Phoenix is targeted for 2017.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel told The Associated Press that agency officials will know more about the test project’s timetable as they “work through the design phase.”

Once sensors detect a wrong-way driver, the system would send alerts to state troopers, post warnings on overhead message boards and keep on-ramps’ traffic lights red.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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