Detection system helping reduce wrong-way drivers in Central Florida, FHP says

A wrong-way driver sped 90 mph on State Road 408 straight toward a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and several other cars Monday.

A wrong-way driver sped 90 mph on State Road 408 straight toward a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and several other cars Monday.

Lt. Kim Montes said situations like that one, which was captured on dashcam video, are thankfully becoming less common in Central Florida.

Last year, Montes said in 2018 the FHP received 326 reports of wrong-way drivers. In 2019, that number decreased by 54. Montes credits the decline to the wrong-way detection system that was installed a few years ago.

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“These systems are really deterring people. There is still an instant notification for law enforcement. We get a picture, we get video and we are seeing these cars turn themselves around with the warning system," Montes said.

In Monday morning’s case, Montes said the driver, 22-year-old Roxanne Bartlett, was arrested and charged with DUI.

Montes said impairment is a factor in most wrong-way cases.

Montes said in that case the driver made a U-turn while on the road, which is a situation that won't be picked up by the warning system.

“So we rely on drivers to call in those reports to 911 so we can stop those drivers before they crash,” Montes said.

She said if you see a wrong-way driver, contact 911 immediately because seconds count.