Moth effect

gman021

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Dec 8, 2010
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I'm not sure about he moth effect. I think its more of hey there are red and blue lights ahead so i wonder whats going on! Thats why in my Patrol car and my POV i run ALL amber to the rear and sides. A town east of here had 10 cars hit in a year with R/B bars when they went to amber in the rear that dropped dramatically.
 
The latest FLHP and MSP studies showed that less lights = less accidents when parked on the side of the road. You never hear about dozens of people being killed when pulled off to the side of the road with just their 4-ways on...


I know our legends have a switch for night mode (half or 3/4's brightness), still very effective.
 
FDNY 10-75 said:
The latest FLHP and MSP studies showed that less lights = less accidents when parked on the side of the road. You never hear about dozens of people being killed when pulled off to the side of the road with just their 4-ways on...

I know our legends have a switch for night mode (half or 3/4's brightness), still very effective.

Ya they should keep the same lights but at night make them less bright. And maybe changed the flash patterns.


Unfortunately, we do here a lot of people getting killed on the side of the road. It's dumb drivers that are doing all this
 
Our area has seen an epidemic of troopers struck from behind. Not sure about the "moth effect" but it seems that something is going on. Ohio's Vista bars suck, so i'm not sure it is "over lighting" but they do have a lot of auxiliary lighting in the back windows.


I'm pretty sure it is just people are idiots............
 
I would say stupid idiots account for 99% of problems. I've driven by (and I know all you have) plenty of EMS vehicles and I don't almost hit anyone.


And if your drunk, your most likely going to hit someone or something regardless
 
You know, my agency has experienced 4 or 5 rear-end strikes in the past decade on fully lit cruisers using a variety of emergency lighting. In that same time not ONE SINGLE accident has occurred where a broken-down vehicle sitting on the side of the road with no lights or just 4-ways has been struck. And we see a ton of those. I don't know what that means, but there must be something to it. I do know that when playing sports, riding a bike, etc., it is proven that where your head leads, your body follows. We teach police cyclists to not look at an obstacle they are trying to avoid, but to look past it. Looking at the obstacle is a sure way to strike it or at least steer too close to it. Maybe the same phenomenon is at work with these rear-end collisions. I do think using our lights is sometimes more dangerous than going without.
 
To add to what I said earlier, lights to the rear should be placed on the edges of the vehicle, to define it, and set on slow patterns.
 
With the typical full-width blue LED lightbar on cop cars in my area, at night I can't see jack shit around a cop car pulled over on the side of a road. I tend to think the max necessary warning in back should be no more than 4 lights, preferably 2 (not counting hideaways).
 
My local sheriff office needs to rethink their lights at night. When they are pulled over at night for a traffic stop, the use full power on their full sized light bars. They use a slow wig-wag pattern that all the light heads on one side of the bar alternate with all the lights on the oposite sides. At night they blind traffic in all directions. It's horrible, and someone is eventually going to get killed or injured becasue of it. The need to have automatic low power at night when the car is in park.


As for the moth effect I would say its true. People drive where they are looking. If their concentration is on the emergency vehicle because of all the lights, then their car is going to move towards their concentration. Same concept is tought in many sports. Focus on where you want to go, not on the obsticals you want to avoid.
 
In MI, by law if there's a emergency vehicle with their lights on you slow down and give them space (1 lane) where possible and safe to do so. I would change the flash pattern to a slower rate (90fpm) also partial front and rear warning once stopped. I think having your lights dance in pursuit mode while stopped is a waste, let alone blinding depending on the set up.


For instance, Full lightbar, full warning= code3 to stop. 2outboard and 2inboard rear, 2front in board= stopped.


or 2 deck and traffic advisor, takedowns and 2 front warnings= stopped.


Brighter is better however having to many bright lights on at once can (could) be too much while not moving. Just my .02 and my opinion.
 
car54 said:
Brighter is better however having to many bright lights on at once can (could) be too much while not moving. Just my .02 and my opinion.

I strongly disagree. I've been blinded by a pair of Predator IIs mounted on a police department trailer while they were setting up a DWI checkpoint (ironically, less than a mile from another DWI checkpoint in another municipality).


Seems to me that a photo sensor could play a role in dimming the lights when it's dark out.


Amber would help in this situation, as it conveys the message of caution, versus danger (red). This is one reason I'm vehemently opposed to red and amber being used together; they negate each other's message.


[/rant]
 
car54 said:
Brighter is usually better; however, having too many bright lights on at once is often WAY too much while not moving.

Fixed.
 
C2Installs said:
You know, my agency has experienced 4 or 5 rear-end strikes in the past decade on fully lit cruisers using a variety of emergency lighting. In that same time not ONE SINGLE accident has occurred where a broken-down vehicle sitting on the side of the road with no lights or just 4-ways has been struck.

Although those are convincing statistics, they miss a potentially important part.


How many cop cars are being hit because they are cop cars, and not because of the lights? How often do you see people rubber-neck a Ford Explorer with a flat tire on the shoulder? Now put a Police car, with lights or without, on the side of the highway and see how many people look. I bet it's over 95%. Not saying that the lights don't contribute, but I think an even bigger contribution is just the simple fact that it's a Police car. It'd be interesting to do a few tests, using a marked Crown Victoria (fully lit, normal 4 way flashers, and none at all), and a typical Fod Explorer (Normal 4 way flashers, and then a concealed lightbar). I bet the numbers are highest on the marked cruiser with emergency lighting. If emergency lights are going, people want to know why.


My post wasn't so much aimed at drunks, moreso sober drivers (There are still a few out there believe it or not!)
 
I'm new hear, been lurking for a while....


Anyway, I'm a news photographer in RI and SE Mass, I've covered several of the recent accidents where troopers have been hit. It seems to be happening more and more around here. Not sure if it's the color of the light creating a "moth effect", that does sound a but ridiculous to me.... however, I can definitely say that the lights are WAY too bright! The bars are on high power and they have additional LEDs running in the back windows. Pile up 5 or 10 cop cars with all that running and you're blinded (drunk or not). It also doesn't help when they shine white work lights into the oncoming traffic. For example: fire truck at the back of the scene, parked on an angle with the work lights on. One of the accidents I was at had occurred in an active construction work zone. The trooper was struck and killed while working the traffic detail there, on the side of the highway. I'm not sure if this was going on at that particular scene, but often times they shine the large generator powered work lights INTO the oncoming traffic! They just need to implement a little more common sense, reduce the amount of light, and be smart about how they're illuminating the scenes.
 
I like the idea of a photo sensor automatically switching light bars to low power mode. I've considered using the parking light circuit to activate low-power, but think there may be times when full power may be necessary with the headlights on. A switch on a console certainly works, but it would be nice if it were automatic. I think anything to let officers concentrate on the situation at hand and not be distracted by his gadgets is a big plus. The bottom line is that I think the bars are too bright at night. That aside the comments on the rubber neckers and people driving toward what their looking at has a lot of merit in my opinion.
 
I think we understimate the effectiveness of 4 way flashers or alternating brake/reverse lights when parked on the roadside. We all have embedded in our minds to "watch out" when we see a vehicle's brake lights come on, then natural instinct is to either hit the brakes or at least prepare to. The same is double true when you see a car ahead of you put it into reverse.


Even when its quite a distance away, I think that initial reaction occurs. A couple of slowly flashing warning lights, for identification as much as warning, is plenty enough when used with your vehicle's hazard lights.


There is also a lot of sense to the gentleman's point above, about the fact that the vehicles being police cars (fire, ems) trigger the "oh look a cop car let me see what's going on" attracting people vs some dude changing a flat. (Now if it's Daisy Duke bent over changing the flat that effect gets worse)


Another point about too many lights at night -- it's not just other drivers that it affects. When we are working an accident or fire on the interstate, and 2 or 3 hwy partol or Sheriff's cars are on scene with all of their lightbars blasting away (which on a car puts them RIGHT at eye level), I CAN"T SEE SHIT. I can't see the patient well, I can't see traffic that is coming around us (till it's too late), etc. Around here in SC most patrol cars are running all blue Liberty bars, and half the time they have the takedowns flashing, or at least on steady. On the engines and ambulances, the lights are mostly up high enough that it's not as bad.


Bob
 
I agree with using a photo cell to control the brightness, as well as using slow flashing amber lights. Here in Nassau County L.I. the highway cops illuminate every single light they can possible squeeze on there cars. They are running a fully equipped freedom bar, whelen highway riser bars, dual avengers on rear deck, vertex in back up lights. All of the lights are blazing away on rapid flashes. What really irks me is that when they are doing a traffic stop on a highway they have all the lights flashing even towards the front, creating a bottleneck condition for the on coming traffic.
 
The sheriff department has a car here with a liberty running r/b. A r/b rear deck bar. An amber rear headliner bar. TLF and Corner Strobes. How they havent got hit yet I have no clue...
 
People are idiots period. I've nearly been hit with my Fedex van and all it's got is the OE 4 ways!


I know some local cops will manually shut off most of the lights when doing traffic stops, one officer seems to just leave the rear HAW and dash light on. Other officers leave eveything including the HLF on, at night!
 
Code 3 now offers auto-dimming for some of its lightbars. They use a photocell to sense ambient light. I would think it would be fairly easy to make a "Radio-Shack" version and try it out. Say use it to switch a relay or just trigger low-power mode on newer LED bars that use low-current switching, like FedSig and SoundOff bars, for example. If I was designing the circuit/auto-dimming module, I would make it so that it had a disable switch or input wire to allow operator override of the dimming or low power mode. Using this to switch a relay, you could not only dim lightheads, but also reduce the number turned on. As it is, my car is wire with three modes on the slide switch...


1 = only LB endcaps are lit, in a slow alternating pattern similar to the flashing lights that were on the lower half of the old StreetHawks.


2 = all lightbar modules lit in faster patterns, + strobes, grille & deck LEDs.


3 = same as two plus w/w headlamps, flashing TD & Alleys.


I also have a low power and cruise lights on same button. When lightbar is off, this activates cruise lights on the endcaps. When lightbar is on, it still triggers cruise, but also dims all lightbar modules to low power. I encourage installers and agencies to try cruise lights to lower their lighting profile in certain circumstances. Four ways should be considered as well as use of amber instead of emergency authority colors when roadside. For almost every stationary situation, I believe we are over-lit. Simple, slow alternating patterns are best. Think RR crossing sign or school bus.


And John, I wasn't really offering those numbers to convince anyone. Too many variables to think it is proof of anything. But add that we've not had a cruiser hit when sitting blacked out or with just parking in the median or on the shoulder when running radar at night. Perhaps this bolsters your theory. Either way, I think that too much light is counter-productive in many instances. If the lights aren't needed and are not contributing (or even reducing) motorist and officer safety, why are we using them? I laugh a bit at some of the set-ups I've seen.
 
C2Installs said:
And John, I wasn't really offering those numbers to convince anyone. Too many variables to think it is proof of anything. But add that we've not had a cruiser hit when sitting blacked out or with just parking in the median or on the shoulder when running radar at night. Perhaps this bolsters your theory. Either way, I think that too much light is counter-productive in many instances. If the lights aren't needed and are not contributing (or even reducing) motorist and officer safety, why are we using them? I laugh a bit at some of the set-ups I've seen.

That's a good point, I bet a fair amoutn of the time, people never even see the blacked out cruiser. Even if it has reflective decals, it can't beat a cell phone until it's got lights on!


Although I agree with these LED bars over-lighting scenes, there's one thing that has caused this, and it's the courts. Drunk guy hits the cop car? It's because the cop didn't have enough lights on. This has been upheld time and time again in the courts. Look back int he 80s-90s, when the CHP used a single steady burn red light to the front, and a single red, amber, and blue to the rear. That was it. Now they got more LEDs than a Cadillac.
 
code4services.com said:
I like the idea of a photo sensor automatically switching light bars to low power mode.

Curious what everyone thinks about using low-power on-scene at night - its a standard feature on many lightbars but, in my experience, typcially not connected/programmed at the switch control, and rarely used. Maybe a better option is described by C2Installs: use only the corner heads, but still on full power.


Also, any comments on using low-power option as it relates to losing SAE-approval? I'm guessing at 40%-60% power, some lightheads would not be able to meet Class 2 requirements, much less Class 1. Would this increase liability if someone were to hit the vehicle, then claim they couldn't see it clearly?


/dcb
 
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C2Installs said:
Code 3 now offers auto-dimming for some of its lightbars. They use a photocell to sense ambient light.

Which models specifically? I just looked through their install manuals and could only find dim mode activated by +12 volt trigger. I also learned that they exclude the corner mods from dim mode to stay SAE 360 degree compliant.
 
code4services.com said:
Which models specifically? I just looked through their install manuals and could only find dim mode activated by +12 volt trigger. I also learned that they exclude the corner mods from dim mode to stay SAE 360 degree compliant.

everybody excludes corners from dim mode
 
code4services.com said:
Which models specifically? I just looked through their install manuals and could only find dim mode activated by +12 volt trigger. I also learned that they exclude the corner mods from dim mode to stay SAE 360 degree compliant.

I believe its an add on option, wires into the control board where the 12vdc trigger would be and then move a jumper on the board.
 
cory y said:
everybody excludes corners from dim mode

Actually, no. FedSig and SoundOff both allow dimming of corner modules. On the FedSig stuff, dimming mode is overridden by mode3 to provide a fail-safe. Whelen and Code3 are the ones I know of who do not permit dimming of the end corner modules. The do allow for cruise lights there though.


Code4Services - Code 3's new auto-dimming option is for the Defender and RX2700 lightbars. I just finished a new products piece on Code 3 that will be published in the next Police Fleet Manager magazine. For more info on the Code 3 product, click here: http://www.code3pse.com/pdf/autodimpr.pdf


I personally think cruise lights are the answer to much of the question. They are very versatile lighting at night, often all that is needed. In most states, flashing lights in the authority color are only required for emergency vehicle operators when they are requesting right-of-way, operating under an exception to motor vehicle laws (like speeding) , or signalling a violator to stop. In other instances, especially at night, flashing lights do not always offer any benefit beyond visibility from long distances and tactically they can be a detriment. They call attention to a scene, impair vision, gather bystanders, confuse motorists, and raise stress levels of low-threat violators. This is where I feel cruise lights come in. I use mine for several things: marking helicopter LZs at night, marking a command post, marking a rally point, marking an address for EMS responses, visibility during patrols in high-traffic parking lots, visibility when patrolling subdivisions (makes homeowners happy and they remember seeing the car), increasing visibility during traffic enforcement operations (when parked running radar, observing an intersection, etc.), even when patrolling in our recent winter weather to keep motorists back and alert them to problems. They are a great tool.


As far as low power/dimming modes, I think all manufacturers ought to leave the configuration/head selection up to the installer and end-user. I do think that auto-dimming features are going to be more common. Think about it...how else can an agency standardize its fleet and lighting use? If you write a policy that says officers will dim lights when _____, how can you control it and prevent boo-boo's? And you need a policy, IMO, for use of lights beyond just turning them on and off. For most cops, training on use of lights is non-existent; they are taught by example only, not reasoned presentation with an understanding of what the lights do, how they can be used, what message is being sent and to whom. Just on or off. How much training on appropriate light use has anyone here received?


One problem with dim modes is the risk that an operator selects it at an inappropriate time. There are ways around this, such as integrating it into a park-kill circuit, but few installers take the time or effort or worse, even understand how lights are used, officer and agency needs, and few care. Agencies may be stuck in "HOW WE ALWAYS HAVE DONE IT" mode and not aware of the capabilities of newer lightbars. And few agencies have ever done a serious internal evaluation of their lighting needs beyond thinking "more must be better." Whelen has a good idea in their new CANTROL systems, but again, there are so many features and capabilities in the system that it WILL absolutely require agencies to write new policy.


Any way, back to the dimming..."Auto-dimming" could be accomplished in current set-ups by tying into the parking light or DRL circuits. Or using relays to create a if-then logic function to control it. Either way, I think it needs to have operator override, kinda like the flash setting on a camera. Say a three-way switch with ON - AUTO - OFF positions for the dimming feature.


I have wired FedSig ROC lightbars to take advantage of it's low-power features as follows:


Since the three modes, 1/2/3, are progressive, 2 overrides 1 and 3 overrides 1&2. Also, the low-power mode is overridden in by mode 3. Using a SS2000Sm I set it up as:


Slide position 1 : Rear only lightbar mode 1 set up as all lights on bar in medium flash rate warning pattern.


Slide position 2 : Front & rear lightbar mode 1, plus grille/deck/strobes.


Slide position 3 : F&R lightbar mode 3 (faster flash rate) plus grille/deck/strobe, plus wigwags and flashing TD/AL.


Then, I take a seperate push button and mark it as low power. This gets the low-power trigger and lightbar mode 2 trigger. Flash pattern is set to a slow endcap alternating pattern (pattern #1 of the 26 available, IIRC). I could have used the SS2000SM relay E to set-up a park-kill enable for the circuit, so it would only be able to be activated when vehicle was stationary, if I wanted. Anyway, using this set-up, officer can turn on a low power mode that will override switch positions 1/2, but that switch position 3 will override.


Make sense? Cause typing all that sucked.
 
C2,


Makes complete sense. I'm sure your article will detail this, but can you over-ride the photo cell on the Code 3? Thanks for the post. I run into a lot of "HOW WE ALWAYS HAVE DONE IT" larger agencies. Smaller agencies are usually more receptive to being educated on the capabilities of their equipment in my experience. This I believe comes down to smaller scale change being easier to implement on several levels. I think I'll try the parking light activated low power with an over-ride like you mentioned as a test on a couple of units and see what kind of feedback I get.


Thanks again,
 
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C2Installs - Regarding the PM, Now I understand what you were aiming for.


I was reading and was waiting for someone to chime in on Park kill uses but seems like the majority don't know, or care, to expand past the 3 position slide switch when I can provide 4 lighting levels (even 5 but that's in a moment). The old way was the single toggle switch, then in the late 70's came the 3 position slide switch and pretty much have been this way since then. Very rarely do I upfit a vehicle without any type of park kill for both siren AND lights. This is a typical setup for Southern Calif:


Halogen configuration (90's)


1. Rear warning


2. Front steady red & blue


3. Lightbar & grill lights


4. HLF, strobes/HAW's, intersectors (MX7000 & equiv), extra lightbar rotators)


LED lightbar configuration (current)


1. Rear warning [mode 1, front disable](signalmaster pattern 1)


2. Front steady red & blue (signalmaster pattern 2)


3. Basic 90 fpm led lightbar [mode 1], grill lights (signalmaster pattern 4)


4. Faster fpm led lightbar [mode 2], HLF, HAW's, flashing TD & Alleys


5. 8-second horn ring flash module activates hyper led lightbar [mode 3] A few depts uses this option, not widespread yet


When the vehicle is in park, lighting levels are decreased dramatically. Most of the time on traffic stops, it's set for Mode 2 or even Mode 1. The CHP is a fine example of lighting useage. They often revert to 4-way flashers or just parking lights while killing everything else if they are on the shoulder. After moving to WA, I cringe at local LEO's usage of lighting, both WSP and Spokane city & Sheriff and fail to see the logic of their lighting management methods.


I also like the cruise lights for all the benefits mentioned here. Oddly enough, it's not commonly used in So Calif, probably due to low profile use. Connecting it to parking lights seems like the simplest thing to do.


After reading (and reading C2Install's PM) all the comments tonight, I have three thoughts to add about the dimmer feature.


Option #1 - Low power mode be connected to park kill, in turn connected to parking lights. It shuts off (allows full brightness) when vehicle is in drive OR when the parking lights are off. (AND logic still keeps them off)


Option #2 - Same as #1, but instead of parking lights, use photocell.


Option #3 - A wild thought, use the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) as part of the dimmer only circuit. Comes on when parking lights are on and speed is below set limit.


My question to the masses, why don't you disable excessive lighting when the vehicle is in park automatically?
 
EVModules said:
C2Installs - Regarding the PM, Now I understand what you were aiming for.

I was reading and was waiting for someone to chime in on Park kill uses but seems like the majority don't know, or care, to expand past the 3 position slide switch when I can provide 4 lighting levels (even 5 but that's in a moment). The old way was the single toggle switch, then in the late 70's came the 3 position slide switch and pretty much have been this way since then. Very rarely do I upfit a vehicle without any type of park kill for both siren AND lights. This is a typical setup for Southern Calif:


Halogen configuration (90's)


1. Rear warning


2. Front steady red & blue


3. Lightbar & grill lights


4. HLF, strobes/HAW's, intersectors (MX7000 & equiv), extra lightbar rotators)


LED lightbar configuration (current)


1. Rear warning [mode 1, front disable](signalmaster pattern 1)


2. Front steady red & blue (signalmaster pattern 2)


3. Basic 90 fpm led lightbar [mode 1], grill lights (signalmaster pattern 4)


4. Faster fpm led lightbar [mode 2], HLF, HAW's, flashing TD & Alleys


5. 8-second horn ring flash module activates hyper led lightbar [mode 3] A few depts uses this option, not widespread yet


When the vehicle is in park, lighting levels are decreased dramatically. Most of the time on traffic stops, it's set for Mode 2 or even Mode 1. The CHP is a fine example of lighting useage. They often revert to 4-way flashers or just parking lights while killing everything else if they are on the shoulder. After moving to WA, I cringe at local LEO's usage of lighting, both WSP and Spokane city & Sheriff and fail to see the logic of their lighting management methods.


I also like the cruise lights for all the benefits mentioned here. Oddly enough, it's not commonly used in So Calif, probably due to low profile use. Connecting it to parking lights seems like the simplest thing to do.


After reading (and reading C2Install's PM) all the comments tonight, I have three thoughts to add about the dimmer feature.


Option #1 - Low power mode be connected to park kill, in turn connected to parking lights. It shuts off (allows full brightness) when vehicle is in drive OR when the parking lights are off. (AND logic still keeps them off)


Option #2 - Same as #1, but instead of parking lights, use photocell.


Option #3 - A wild thought, use the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) as part of the dimmer only circuit. Comes on when parking lights are on and speed is below set limit.


My question to the masses, why don't you disable excessive lighting when the vehicle is in park automatically?

Very sensable. I like the idea. The problem is that while this makes sense to lighting professionals, It's going to take a lot to convince LEO's and Fire departments to accept and agree with this. I think a study of some kind.

John Smith said:
It'd be interesting to do a few tests, using a marked Crown Victoria (fully lit, normal 4 way flashers, and none at all), and a typical Fod Explorer (Normal 4 way flashers, and then a concealed lightbar). I bet the numbers are highest on the marked cruiser with emergency lighting. If emergency lights are going, people want to know why.


I think putting a camera in such vehicles and watching the rusults could be hugely valuable. I'd also be interested to test some of the other thories on here.


The results may also be enough to convince The higher ups to back these types of changes.
 
Here's one to try:


0. Two steady blue in front, two steady blue in back - Passive warning, just a cop driving around. (Police only)


1. Two lights in back, preferably facing directly back (no light to the sides) - At least one amber.


2. Minimal 360 coverage - 2 rotators, 4 strobes/LED heads, etc. - Any color


3. (1+2=3) Same lights as 2 with same lights as 1 together (2 in front, 4 in back)


4. Slow alternating flash patterns, lots of amber in back, no white, minimal intersection coverage.


5. Lots of blinkies, flash patterns designed to minimize "steady glow" appearance at long distance. Prudent amount of white in front, lots of intersection coverage, amber not particularly important.


Adjust colors as laws require; adjust laws to allow amber where necessary (or where commonly practiced despite the law saying otherwise).


Cali steady-red would be added to whatever max is stated. (for example, a Liberty in #1 would have the two lights in back, plus a steady red in front.)
 
I can't get this scenario out of my head, so I'll put it to you here.


Choose a common, well traveled piece of road to test, minimum 3 lanes each way. A divided hwy is best IMHO. Pick a typical spot well away from entrance/exit ramps. Park a cruiser of choice on the shoulder. Directly parallel to the cruiser on the closest lane put white painted hash marks at 6" or 1' intervals all the way to lane two. Point a camera where all hash marks are visible in the shot and roll film. NOW, try each of your lighting ideas for 5 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between using only 4-way hazards. Try this in daylight and at night. Go back and review the tape and see which pattern people stay furthest from...


Does this make sense? Does it seem viable? Should I keep my whacker mouth shut? :popcorn:
 
funeralracer said:
I can't get this scenario out of my head, so I'll put it to you here.

Choose a common, well traveled piece of road to test, minimum 3 lanes each way. A divided hwy is best IMHO. Pick a typical spot well away from entrance/exit ramps. Park a cruiser of choice on the shoulder. Directly parallel to the cruiser on the closest lane put white painted hash marks at 6" or 1' intervals all the way to lane two. Point a camera where all hash marks are visible in the shot and roll film. NOW, try each of your lighting ideas for 5 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between using only 4-way hazards. Try this in daylight and at night. Go back and review the tape and see which pattern people stay furthest from...


Does this make sense? Does it seem viable? Should I keep my whacker mouth shut? :popcorn:

What's the purpose of the "hash marks" And for that matter what would be the goal of the study specifically?
 
Bigredinstalls said:
What's the purpose of the "hash marks" And for that matter what would be the goal of the study specifically?

The hash marks would make it easier to gauge the distance of passing cars on the video playback. The goal of the study would be to determine what lighting pattern/color/brightness/saturation would best serve the department and LEO's to caution and repel passing traffic without attracting "moths".
 
I understand the premise of using 4-way flashers as a compromise between no lights at all, and a bunch of bright flashing LEDs, but I think this would actually not be effective enough at communicating that the vehicle is at the scene of an emergency or some such. If I see any vehicle with hazard flashers on, police or not, i don't immediately think that it's an emergency vehicle and respond accordingly, I think they're just broken down and waiting for a tow or some such.


Better to instead use two separate warning lights to communicate more effectively, and compare that to what drivers do with a lot of flashing LEDs.


One thing I think would be useful to try out is this:


1. Have a cop car pulled over at the beginning of a curve in the highway.


2. Have cameras pointing behind, beside, and in front of the cop car to see what the cars do.


3. Compare the daytime and night time effects of:


> 2 "police color" lights (blue, red/blue...)


> 2 amber lights


> Full roof lightbar and 2 rear deck lights, primarily amber


> Full roof lightbar and 2 rear deck lights, your favorite police light color


If my experience is any indication, people will notice and react to the curve in the highway much later because they just can't see it, in the case of the full load of flashing lights. (Blue is worst for this at night.) I think the best choice would be for two blue lights in back, which communicates that it's a police vehicle while limiting the effects on drivers' vision. Two amber lights in back would still let drivers see where they're going, but it wouldn't communicate that it's a police vehicle, so they wouldn't be as effective at getting people to slow down and move over.
 
I predicted this years ago. Lightbars and beacons have gotten to the point where they are so bright they cause more problems than they solve. Departments and individual users naively run full bars at high power at night justifying it for "their safety" and then they get schmucked because oncoming traffic was blinded by their electronic fireworks display. Brilliant.
 
Solvarex said:
I predicted this years ago. Lightbars and beacons have gotten to the point where they are so bright they cause more problems than they solve. Departments and individual users naively run full bars at high power at night justifying it for "their safety" and then they get schmucked because oncoming traffic was blinded by their electronic fireworks display. Brilliant.

Less is more. :D


I tend to think that the best compromise between high visibility and too much visibility is the Code 3 LP6000. Very bright, even with clouded domes, but not as horrible as the newer LED lightbars; also more aerodynamic than most other halogen lightbars, and arguably even more aerodynamic than many LED lightbars because of their flat rectangular profile.
 

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