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Indiana To Begin Installing Warning Systems To Reduce Wrecks

Courtesy of SRF Consulting
An example of an Intersection Conflict Warning sign. Ones being installed in Indiana may look a little different.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) begins installation next week on Intersection Conflict Warning Systems (ICWS) across the state. The simple systems are designed to increase awareness of other vehicles at upcoming intersections and reduce wrecks.

"The Federal Highway Administration has done studies on these warning systems and in other states they've shown to reduce severe crashes by up to 20-30%," says Mallory Duncan, INDOT communications director for East Central Indiana. "So we're looking at a significant decrease in those severe crashes."

She says locations were selected based on having higher numbers of severe crashes. They're being placed at major intersections on state and U.S. roads.

The systems have been used in other states but this is the first time they're being installed in Indiana, Duncan says.

Locally, the system will be installed in the Richmond area at the intersection of US 27 and SR 28. A timeline isn't announced but installation begins in Southern Indiana on Aug. 31 and is slated to run through spring of 2021.

Credit Courtesy of INDOT

How It Works

The warning systems alert drivers of oncoming traffic as they approach two-way, stop-controlled intersections. When a car is waiting or approaching an intersection, a sensor under the pavement activates flashing yellow warning lights on signs just ahead of the intersection.

While the lights are there to give drivers real-time warnings, Duncan reminds people they should still proceed with caution even if the lights aren't flashing.

Credit Courtesy of INDOT

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.