KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges
Privacy Policy | FCC Public File | Contest Rules
Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Phoenix To Use Thermal Cameras To Detect Wrong-Way Drivers

Arizona is about to become the first state in the nation to use thermal cameras to detect wrong-way drivers on freeways. The cameras will be installed next month along a 15-mile stretch of roadway that spans from Central to North Phoenix.

State troopers often don’t know about a wrong-way driver until someone calls 9-1-1. But after the installation of these thermal cameras along Interstate 17, “the notification’s going to be nearly instantaneous,” said Doug Nintzel, of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Nintzel said when a camera detects a wrong-way vehicle, it will alert law enforcement and trigger a flashing sign for the wrong-way driver.

“We’ll be able to also instantly post messages for drivers who are going in the correct direction that a wrong-way vehicle is ahead,” he said.

Nintzel says so far this year, at least nine people have died in wrong-way crashes in Arizona.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.