Could DOT cameras prevent future wrong way accidents? - WFLA News Channel 8

Could DOT cameras prevent future wrong way accidents?

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Florida Department of Transportation employees monitor nearly 200 traffic cameras, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If those employees witness, or get a tip about a wrong-way driver, would they have time to warn other motorists? That's something the DOT is contemplating.

"If this should happen again, and we get wind of it, from a DOT employee, a law enforcement officer or a road ranger and it's a credible source, what we're going to do is quickly put up a message on the message boards that go across the interstates to tell people, 'caution, wrong way driver on the interstate'," said Kris Carson, a spokeswoman for the agency.

However, Carson admits, even if workers get a tip or witness a wrong-way driver, they may not have enough time to put out the warning.

"It takes about 45 seconds to input the message, and we have to do that a couple of different times," Carson said. "So it's a couple of minutes to get all of those message boards lit, with that same message, let's say on I-275, so we don't know if we could warn people in time or if the driver's going to look up and see that, but we want to try."

A week ago Sunday, Daniel Lee Morris was driving a friend's Expedition southbound in the northbound lanes of I-275 when he smashed head-on into a Hyundai Sonata. Four fraternity brothers in that Sonata died. Morris was also killed in that collision.

The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating where Morris got onto the interstate, and why he was going the wrong way.

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