17 wrong-way drivers spotted in April

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 10, 2016

The Florida Department of Transportation said authorities sent out 17 wrong-way driver alerts in April on overhead billboards in the Tampa Bay area.

FDOT is watching the roadways 24/7 to keep drivers in the know through more than 130 message boards in Tampa. Authorities monitors more than 200 live camera feeds to update drivers on crashes, traffic times, and wrong-way drivers. The traffic management center pushes out alerts within seconds after being notified through authorities. 

In most cases, troopers with Florida Highway Patrol notify the traffic center as soon as witnesses call in suspected wrong way drivers. 

"Thirty seconds max," Charlie Keasler said.

Keasler, the floor supervisor of the center, says when they are informed about a wrong-way driver they are instantly putting a billboard alert on every billboard in the region. The traffic managers are also putting notifications on each direction of the interstates in case a witness has the wrong location. 

When seconds matter most, the department is using technology to inform drivers nearly instantly, in most cases alerts are pushed within 15 seconds. 

"All we have to do is highlight the signs and they turn on," Keasler said.

If you see a wrong-way driver alert you should slow down. If you're driving at night, drive in the right lanes, and get off the road as soon as you can.