Georgia aims to use system to alert police of wrong-way drivers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia aims to use system to alert police of wrong-way drivers

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Seven  people were sent to the hospital Thursday afternoon, three of them children, after a wrong-way driver on I-95 tried to get off onto the exit ramp and crashed into a car carrying a family of five.

This is another in a sequence of several wrong way crashes we've seen on our highways and interstates in the past year in the Coastal Empire. 

Georgia is now looking at a system to alert law enforcement and EMS when a wrong-way driver has entered the interstate.

"One fatality is too many," Jill Nagel, Georgia Department of Transportation, told WTOC.  

The number of fatalities in Georgia versus a state like Texas is low. In the last five years, Georgia has had 97 fatalities due to wrong-way drivers. Texas had 100 in the last year alone.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police spokesman Julian Miller told WTOC any wrong-way driving incident is a recipe for disaster.

"It may not happen often, but when it does, it's usually bad," Miller said.

Nagel says the state is looking at a pilot program and study used in Texas and Wisconsin aimed at solving and preventing wrong-way driver accidents. Georgia would do what Texas has to promising results she said, using sensors and GPS on roads and signs to alert police and EMS when a driver enters the interstate at the wrong way on an exit. 

"We want to keep our roadways as safe as we can for our residents so we are going to see what the results of the studies are," Nagel said.

There were no fatalities in today's wreck, but Georgia DOT says this is a serious issue for them. Texas spent $500,000 to test out 14 interchanges. Doing the same thing statewide in Georgia could cost millions of dollars. 

Texas's study is not expected to be completed for at least two more years.

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