Caltrans put the sensors in place back in February, and during that time they’ve detected three wrong-way drivers. They’re only in six locations around town, but still, three wrong-way drivers detected is progress, and points to a problem, especially after the past couple years where we’ve had 490 wrong-way collisions in California, just in 2015 and 2016.
The sensors are tripped by motion, and when they go off, a series of things happens. Large “wrong way” signs nearby start to flash to get the driver’s attention. While that happens, pictures and video of the driver are captured, and sent to Caltrans and the CHP office nearby. CHP officers know where those sensors are, and can then head to that location to hopefully stop the driver, correct them, or apprehend if necessary, all hopefully before stopping a major crash. One of the drivers, after realizing he was going the wrong way, appeared to pull off to the side, turn around, and begin heading the correct direction.
It’s a pilot program, but it does seem to work, so maybe we’ll start to see more of the sensors installed on roads around Sacramento.