Sadly, there are many cases of drivers taking the wrong way or making U-turns on motorways. The ad-hoc observatory created by APRR (Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône), a subsidiary of Eiffage, reveals that on average, one to two cases of wrong-way driving are recorded every week throughout the network. In accidents caused by wrong-way driving, the consequences are proportional to the speed of the vehicles involved. They are even fatal in one out of two cases. The drivers involved have common profiles: older people experiencing disorientation, or drivers whose judgement is altered by alcohol or drug consumption.
To fight this phenomenon, APRR and AREA have been conducting an experiment on the A48 since 2014 and on the A432 since 2015. Sections on these motorways are equipped with loop-based counting systems, thermal cameras and Doppler radars that detect a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction. The control centres are immediately warned and display an alert on the variable message signs and on the Autoroute Info radio station in order to warn other drivers of the danger. Selected among the 19 projects shortlisted for the 2017 Innovation Prize awarded by the French Ministry of the Interior, the test is continuing on the APRR and AREA networks.