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Howard Frankland Bridge message boards to warn of wrong-way drivers with help of new software, cameras

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 19:50:59-04

TAMPA, Fla. — New software and cameras installed on the Howard Frankland Bridge can now warn motorists if a vehicle is going the wrong direction. The Florida Department of Transportation hopes lives will be saved.

ABC Action News first reported on the plan to install the technology in November after two wrong-way crashes just weeks apart.

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Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Kris Carson says if the software and cameras detect a driver going the wrong way, an alarm goes off at the Traffic Management Center. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper can be dispatched before a 911 call comes in. Message boards above the interstate will warn drivers to look out for someone going the wrong direction.

“The whole goal is safety,” said Carson. “We want to try and stop wrong-way drivers, or at least have quicker notice for the motoring public.”

Carson is also reminding drivers to not get behind the wheel if they have been drinking.

“FDOT can always spend a lot of money on software and signage, and FHP is always out in the vicinity of this bridge, but we have to ask for the public’s responsibility to sop drinking and driving,” said Carson. “That’s what 99% of these crashes are.”

The project cost FDOT $95,000.