WOODLAND (CBS13) — Caltrans is looking to see whether it needs to expand a program aimed at preventing wrong-way crashes.
Two people were injured on Friday when a woman driving the wrong way on I-5 crashed into another car in Yolo County north of Woodland.
Caltrans implemented a pilot program in 2017 with researchers at UC Davis two years after a spike in wrong-way crashes on Sacramento area freeways.
“If a vehicle is driving the wrong way up a ramp it automatically sets off the blinking wrong way sign with LED lights and also takes a photograph of the vehicle,” said Caltrans spokesman Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
The sensor system uses signs and cameras to detect when a car is going the wrong way. Caltrans sends the information in real time so the California Highway Patrol can respond and UC Davis can collect the data.
“The locations that we picked for the pilot program where areas that we saw that might have a high incidence that drivers may go up the wrong way up the ramps,” Mohtes-Chan said.
The program covers Highway 50 and portions of Interstate 80 but does not include the Interstate 5 corridor thus far. But Caltrans says it is looking into it.
“Every time there is a wrong way collision we send a team of engineers to evaluate the situation,” said Mohtes-Chan.
Six people were killed in a wrong way crash in January along the same stretch of I-5.
Caltrans is waiting on the results of the UC Davis study to see if they will expand the program to I-5. UC Davis officials say the study should be completed by September 2019.