Dave & Dujanovic: New cameras spot wrong-way drivers

Jun 3, 2020, 5:29 PM
wrong-way drivers...
This is the scene in Cottonwood Heights where the UHP says a wrong-way driver caused a fatal crash. (Photo credit: KSL Newsradio reporter Kelli Pierce)
(Photo credit: KSL Newsradio reporter Kelli Pierce)

Crashes caused by wrong-way drivers kill up to 400 people annually on average in the United States. The crashes are often head-on collisions making them more severe.

One person was killed and another seriously injured after a wrong-way driver crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 15 near Lindon on May 19, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

Solving a deadly problem

UDOT Director of Operations Rob White joins Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to discuss the installation of 37 new heat-sensing cameras designed to locate wrong-way drivers across the state.

“How do you figure out which are the biggest trouble spots?” for wrong-way drivers, Debbie asked.

“The problem with these wrong-way driving crashes is that they’re not necessarily grouped in one location,” White said. “We’ve got 32 cameras that we’ve placed around the state at locations where we think there may be problems with people getting on [the highway] in the wrong direction.”

“What happens if someone does enter the wrong way and start driving?” Dave asked.

White said the new thermal cameras work day and night and have a detection zone where it can determine a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction and warn the traffic-operations center.

“They will get in and review that video, and then they can notify law enforcement that there’s a vehicle going in the wrong direction,” White said.

He said all of the eight drivers going in the wrong direction last week turned around and self-corrected. He said that happens most of the time when the traffic-operations center is alerted to a wrong-way driver.

Fatal-crash spot

Debbie referred to a fatal wrong-way crash on Interstate 215 in January and asked if a new UDOT camera had been installed where an 80-year-old driver traveling south entered the freeway on a northbound exit ramp near 4000 South.

A woman in her 20s in an eastbound car was killed. The 80-year-old driver was taken to a hospital and later died from her injuries.

“We do not have one installed there. We’re looking to get one installed there,” White said.

He said UDOT is in the process of upgrading the wrong-way sign there to include a flashing-red notification to alert drivers entering on an exit ramp.

White said many alerts about wrong-way drivers come from other drivers.

“Every second counts. What we’re trying to do with the cameras is get advance notification. . . If we can get an additional 10 seconds, 20 seconds that makes a big difference, ” White said.

He said UDOT is looking into warning other drivers by using overhead freeway signs alerting that a wrong-way driver is ahead. 

“We’re not that far along with this program. We’re still trying to figure out where the best place to put all these cameras are,” White said. 

He said in 2014 there were 24 fatalities caused by wrong-way drivers. So far this year, there have been nine fatalities, he said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

donald trump...
Kate Sullivan, Gabby Orr and Kristen Holmes, CNN

Trump says he’s ‘more angry’ and ‘more committed’ to White House bid as he breaks his campaign trail hiatus

Former President Donald Trump said he's "more committed" to winning back the White House as he hit the campaign trail after announcing a third presidential bid.
1 day ago
Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
2 days ago
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
3 days ago
A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates t...
Devin Oldroyd

New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers.
3 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
3 days ago
With 24 other states on board, the Utah Attorney General announced on Friday a lawsuit against a De...
Simone Seikaly

Utah leading a lawsuit against new ESG rule affecting 401(k) plans

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the states in the lawsuit are concerned about the federal government's promotion of ESG investing.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Dave & Dujanovic: New cameras spot wrong-way drivers