Here are some safety ideas for Sergei, Larry and Elon to start working on:
Centerline Rumble Strips (“CRS”) are small grooves cut into the asphalt or built into the concrete surface of a two-lane highway and placed on the painted line which separates traffic traveling in opposite directions. The purpose of the CRS is to provide audible and tactile warnings to motor vehicles. The idea is to provide drivers with a warning before their vehicle crosses the centerline. CRS will prevent head-on collisions and save lives.
CRS are under study by the Arizona Department of Transportation (“ADOT”). ADOT is studying three different methods of center line alert: reflective striping with thermoplastic bumps, raised pavement markers and ground-in rumble strips.
Ground-in rumble strips are preferred in cold climates, where snow plows are operated.
For more information about CRS, contact ADOT.
Rooftop Marking of Emergency Services Vehicles (“RMESV”) involves having the rooftop of every emergency services vehicle painted or marked with unique identifying symbols, letters and numbers which are visible from the air. Using reflective tape will aid night time observation.
Every ambulance, police vehicle, fire engine, and all other emergency services vehicles would have identification on its rooftop which would permit air crews to quickly identify the agency which owns the vehicle and the vehicle itself. This will aid air crews during chases of criminal suspects and assist aircrews in identifying the location of ground units by communicating with the ground vehicles.
In a northern Arizona example, two police helicopters were called in to search for a vehicle carrying a criminal suspect. The suspect had fired a weapon and wounded a sheriff’s deputy at the Grand Canyon. The suspect eluded roadblocks by leaving the paved roadways and traveling cross-country.
At one point, the suspect exchanged his vehicle for one he stole from a family cutting firewood in the forest. More than once, the suspect got out of his vehicle carrying a rifle. The helicopter air crew had difficulty distinguishing the suspect and his rifle from law enforcement officers closing in on the suspect. RMESV would have helped the air crew quickly identify the law enforcement vehicles and would have made the capture safer and faster.
Many communities mark the location of fire hydrants with reflectors in the road, or with poles or other devices attached to the hydrant. See examples:
Snow covered fire hydrant Fire hydrant reflective marker in street
There is a better way to inform fire personnel where the hydrant is located. GPS location of each hydrant, with the data placed into a database and made available to fire personnel in their vehicles and on their smartphones, could save time and lives. RFID chips attached to hydrants could be connected to a system to “ping” in a vehicle or on a smartphone to identify the precise location of the hydrant, whether buried in the snow or covered by vegetation.
Too much speed around curves causes rail cars to derail. If the engineer will not react in time to slow the train, the train itself should react. Electronic monitoring of train speed at approaches to curves could send signals to the engineer, and if no prompt reaction by the engineer, directly to the speed and braking mechanisms of the train causing it to slow to a safe speed. Positive train control (PTC) and/or Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems for nationwide use are long, long overdue.