Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blue Wave

Proposal to speed up emergency services through heavy traffic

The initial concept is that
all existing street lights in busy roads of major city centres could have a blue light added. In addition to this, a fourth, blue light could be added to traffic lights at junctions in these zones.

The ‘blue light’ circuit would be arranged in groups corresponding to sections between side streets - similar to the American ‘block’ system.

These groups would be linked into a central
emergency services computer.

Upon receipt of an emergency call, the switchboard operator would tap in the address, and the computer would calculate the optimum route for the vehicles, taking into account any existing road works, traffic accidents, etc. All blue lights along the route selected by the computer would immediately be activated - possibly in conjunction with an audible warning. All traffic and pedestrians along the route would then have plenty of prior warning to clear the roads and stay clear ensuring swifter access to an emergency. This could even be made a legal requirement. Traffic lights on the periphery of this zone could all be set to prevent ingress but allow egress from the zone helping to thin out the traffic.

I appreciate that the concept is open to suggestion and improvement, for example, in roads without central reservations, two blue lines, about ten feet (3 meters) apart, could be painted along the road. Remember, we’re talking about busy streets in some town centres, not every village in the country. Every effort should be made to clear this area when the blue lights start to flash.

The public would have to be taught to use the system. In light of the increased, and increasing, density of traffic, ease of access along these busy routes by emergency vehicles is fast becoming a necessity.

Tony Ryder
01 216 931 905
70 Rowheath Road
Kings Norton B30 2EX

July 1997

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