Technology unveiled to curb wrong-way driving incidents on Milwaukee freeways

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and TAPCO announced Tuesday, October 9th they are partnering on an initiative to reduce incidents of wrong-way driving on Milwaukee County freeways. There have been 29 wrong-way driving incidents in Milwaukee County this year.

The initiative will involve the installation of state-of-the-art technology at nine on and off-ramps in Milwaukee County. That technology will be used to stop wrong-way drivers from getting onto the freeway system, or help get them off the freeway quickly.

This technology will also help identify when a driver is going the wrong way, and alert the Sheriff's Department and DOT so they can respond to the scene quickly.

"The thing I like best about this type of technology is in real time it alerts us to the fact that somebody entered the freeway the wrong way," Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said.

Some ramps will also have flashing LED signs.

Eventually, officials hope to have ways of notifying drivers when a wrong-way driver is on the road.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Brian Bliesner with WisDOT and Andrew Bergholz from TAPCO showed off the new technology during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The technology was developed by TAPCO -- the maker of low-cost, intelligent warning systems. The technology was developed following a Sheriff's Office study on wrong-way driving from 2006 through 2012 -- during which there was an average of 33 wrong-way drivers each year.

Sheriff Clarke says 80% of those wrong-way drivers were intoxicated.

CLICK HERE to learn more about recent wrong-way driving incidents in southeast Wisconsin.