ITS California held its annual meeting this year in Indian Wells, September 18th through the 21st. Unexpected rain kept everyone indoors, but no one minded because we were getting so much from the many and varied workshops. Topics included connected and automated vehicles, high occupancy toll lanes, and even drones.

The trade show included a record 49 booths displaying a wide variety of ITS products and services. Road-Tech was there again this year displaying brands including ADDCO, SES America, Unipart-Dorman, TraffiCalm, iCone and even Qwick Kurb. The most popular item this year was TraffiCalm’s new Wrong Way Alert system.

Many agencies are searching for a solution to the problem of wrong way drivers. The problem, of course, is that these wrong way incidents don’t always happen in clusters so it is difficult to know where to install systems to mitigate the problem of wrong way drivers going forward.

System cost and the problem of false positives were the other concerns expressed by most of the attendees. The TraffiCalm system was popular because it addresses those concerns.

It attaches to existing wrong way (R5-1a) signs and that reduces the cost and installation time. As a result, these signs can be applied in a systemic fashion. States like Arizona and Texas are already installing dozens of these systems in their metro areas.

Every Wong Way Alert system includes multiple traffic sensors. That redundancy virtually eliminates the problem of false positives. A sensor or multiple sensors located at the top of the one way ramp or street first detect the wrong way vehicle. Then additional sensors downstream confirm the wrong way before triggering the alert system. That alert includes flashing LEDs around the edge of the WRONG WAY signs, optional audible alarms, calls to local law enforcement, or even devices on the mainline to alert other drivers.

A photo system is also available, once the wrong way driver is confirmed a series of photos timed to catch the vehicle as it passes the camera are taken and emailed instantly to law enforcement.

All of these features can be mixed and matched to create a custom solution for each and every location ensuring agencies get the most cost-effective system.