Milwaukee police are trying out a new kind of siren:
It’s a siren you don’t just see, and hear, you actually feel it. It’s called the Rumbler and it’s expanding on a police force near you. It’s a siren that emits a low frequency sound that vibrates your car. It goes through the material of the vehicle, the frame, and seats. The subwoofer is located inside the grill of the car. Milwaukee K-9 Police Officer, Jeff Lepianka says the department has been adding the sirens over the last few years to battle distracted driving.
Lepianka says, “Drivers will have their ear buds in, be on their cell phone. This siren will break through this and get the people to pull over so I can get to where we need to go.”…
“With the Rumbler going people 10 to 15 car lengths are already getting to the side.”
Those precious minutes saved, could save lives.
In the name of safety and combating distracted driving, perhaps this is the wave of the future. This possible technology prompts two thoughts:
- This reminds me of the use of high-frequency sound devices used to chase away teenagers. Since adults lose the ability to hear such frequencies as they age, it can be particularly effective in targeting loitering youngsters.
- When we eventually all have self-driving cars, it would be easy to automatically pull all vehicles aside to allow emergency vehicles through. This could certainly help decrease response times but it would certainly be odd – at least the first time or two – to be automatically sidelined.
The article suggests pulling over is often delayed because of distracted driving but I wonder if this is also the case even when the drivers aren’t engaged in other activities. Have driving norms changed? At what distance are drivers supposed to pull over? I’ve noticed that fewer emergency sirens use their sirens and it is not always easy to see flashing lights.
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