Monday, December 10, 2007

Emergency Vehicle Accidents

Doing a research project on Homeland Security, I had read that LA was having a significant problem with emergency vehicles getting into accidents, partly due to LA's traffic congestion and partly due to people following emergency vehicles too closely, which is related to the appalling level of driver stupidity in LA...

But I just read this item about an increase in the number of emergency vehicles running into each other.

Many cities across the United States have experienced an increase in emergency vehicle accidents. These accidents can be attributed to departmental training issues, misunderstanding of the right-of-way laws for emergency vehicles, better soundproofing of vehicles, and increased traffic volumes, among other factors.

But departments also have also an increase in the number of apparatus-to-apparatus collisions at intersections. Today's technology can help prevent these accidents, make sure a firefighter's seatbelt is properly used, control traffic signals from inside the cab with preemption technologies....

It is often difficult for the occupants of one emergency vehicle to hear the siren of another because of their own. And it is impossible to see around an intersection. Use of this radio technology would warn an emergency vehicle driver of an impending collision up to three-quarters of a mile in advance. |Crossing Guard - Fire Chief|
Turns out the technology that turns signals green for emergency vehicles previously hasn't been able to deal with multiple emergency vehicles approaching the same intersection, but it looks like the manufacturers are working the bugs out of the system.

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