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Local law enforcements see results with tech vs. wrong way driving

Posted at 6:05 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 19:05:35-04

MILWAUKEE — Since 2012, Milwaukee County has had 20 TAPCO wrong way alert systems installed in trouble areas throughout the county.

Agencies described the technology as a proactive measure to ensure community safety from serious wrong way accidents.

Many of the wrong-way drivers encountered by law enforcement in Southeastern Wisconsin are often found under an influence of some sort, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

"Based on the numbers we've seen in Milwaukee County, we've launched a study statewide and asked our law enforcement partners to let us know when they have wrong way drivers," said Lt. Nathan Clarke of Wisconsin State Patrol.

The TAPCO signs are solar powered and flash throughout the day and night, deterring wrong way drivers.

If a driver goes beyond a certain threshold near the sign, a siren will sound in WisDOT's Traffic Management Center.

MCSO said wrong way driving happens at all time of the day, but primarily overnight.

"Seventy-eight percent of them occur between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.," said inspector Brian Barkow of MCSO.

TAPCO said their systems show a 38 percent decrease in wrong way driving at notorious entry points across the county. Local agencies said they hope to improve that number.