UK’s first wrong-way driving alert system deployed

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Road operator Amey commissioned transportation technology supplier Clearview Intelligence to install the UK’s first wrong-way driving detection systems on four slip roads in Scotland following reports of numerous vehicles turning onto the ramps and into the path of oncoming traffic.

Transport Scotland had reported drivers mistakenly travelling in the wrong direction towards traffic exiting motorways and dual carriageways despite all locations having static ‘no entry’ signs and white lining to indicate one-way traffic flows. Using inductive loops installed in the carriageway and Clearview’s M680 count and classify system, the solution registers the direction of vehicles travelling along the slip lanes. When it detects a vehicle travelling the wrong way, it triggers solar-powered Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) which flash a ‘no entry’ symbol ahead of the drivers, prompting them to turn around. The system was installed at the M9 motorway junction 2 slip road for Philpstoun which reported problems with motorists turning right from the B8046 onto the motorway’s exit ramp.

At the same time, it was introduced to the A1 in Wallyford where drivers had been turning right from the A6094, despite the junction being subject to traffic signals and a ‘no right turn’ sign. Following successful installation, the solution was then installed further along the A1, at the A198 roundabout in Tranent. It was also introduced at the City of Edinburgh Bypass in Lasswade, where drivers were travelling the wrong way down the slip road at Lasswade Road onto the A720. At both Tranent and Lasswade, the system included the provision of cameras and an auto alert system from Clearview’s Insight software platform to notify the Traffic Scotland control center of a potential hazard.

“This is the first time such a solution has been implemented in Scotland and we are proud to be the team to deliver it. By travelling the wrong way on these slip lanes drivers risk a head-on collision with motorists exiting the junction or driving into the path of three lanes of oncoming traffic if they reach the motorway carriageway,” said Chris Keenan, Clearview’s general manager for Scotland. “Our latest system detects vehicles incorrectly turning onto the slip road and uses Vehicle Activated Signs to flash a ‘no entry’ warning sign to motorists, instantly alerting them of their error. Since installing the system, we have recorded incidents of drivers travelling the wrong way at each of these sites, but fortunately turning around in time to avoid colliding with traffic coming at high speeds in the opposite direction.”

Tom Wallace, Amey’s account manager of the Scottish south east trunk road unit, said, “When vehicles enter the trunk road network in the wrong direction it can lead to serious road traffic incidents, and has already caused fatal collisions. Standard signing and preventive measures do work in most locations, but we recognize that there are areas on the network that will benefit from enhanced solutions. We are delighted to have worked with Clearview to introduce new technology, and to have implemented these enhanced safety measures in certain locations on the South East trunk road network.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.

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