The Walloon region yesterday installed the first component in a new system designed to combat ghost drivers – motorists who take a wrong turning and end up driving against the normal flow of traffic, endangering themselves and others.
The new system, first installed on the A54 from Nivelles to Charleroi, consists of two parts. Whenever a ghost driver is detected, the system is triggered, and the lights at that part of the roadway begin to flash. That has a double effect: to alert the driver to the mistake they have just made, and to alert other road users of the danger in the vicinity.
In addition, the system will notify the central traffic control centre in Daussoulx, at the E42-E411 interchange.
The plan now is to install the system at 40 entry and exit points to the region’s motorways by 15 May, with more than 300 planned to be equipped by the end of 2023.
Flanders, meanwhile, will be watching and waiting.
“If the results in Wallonia are positive, we can see whether we adopt the system in Flanders,” said a spokesperson for Flemish mobility minister Lydia Peeters (Open VLD).
At the traffic institute Vias, they are also watching closely, but expect no miracles.
“The system can help when it comes to wrong-way driving due to distraction or unfamiliarity with the traffic situation. But anyone who deliberately goes wrong-way driving for any reason will not have their minds changed.”
Accidents involving ghost drivers are estimated to number about 350 to 400 a year.