AV is back on the road!


Due to my heavy workload over the last few months the AV blog has endured a forced sabbatical. Although I am still quite busy the blog posts have returned…..

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MONOC – New siren safety video for emergency for Police, Fire, Ambulance/EMS responders

The Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) operating in New Jersey has released a short video that can be viewed and downloaded from their website.Monoc - 011

The video briefly summarises United States EMS crash statistics and goes on to discuss the benefits of a tiered response. The video includes a simulated lights & sirens response down an urban street that clearly demonstrates how soundproofing in modern vehicles along with background cabin noise from the car radio and air conditioner mask the siren sounds of an approaching emergency vehicle. The test vehicle is stationary and the ambulance is travelling at 25 mph but the video notes that wind and road noise produced by an average subject vehicle at speed reduces siren penetration even more than shown in the demonstration.

The video can be viewed on the MONOC website or downloaded free of charge as a Windows, Quicktime or iPad file (up to 300MB depending on format).

View and download the video – HERE
View the MONOC website – HERE
Read more siren reports from the AV Reference Library – HERE
Read another blog post on sirens  – HERE

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ohio DOT add green warning lamps to snowploughs (snowplows) – HiVizTV

Changes to state legislation now permits snowploughs in Ohio to be fitted with any colour warning lights except red and blue. The state’s 1500 snowploughs will be progressively retrofitted with green flashing lamps alongside the current fHiViz-TV icon - www.ambulancevisibilitylashing amber and white lamps. While green lamps are considered to be more easily detected (especially in peripheral vision) they are not usually fitted to emergency vehicles as green has the traditional connection with traffic lights as a GO colour rather than the red STOP or amber CAUTION colours.

The Ohio DOT have fitted the green flashing lamps in an attempt to reduce the possibility of rear-end collisions with snowploughs operating throughout the state. It will be interesting to see if the changes actually translate into a decreasing number of  rear-end collisions.

CLICK HERE  for video

Ohio Snowplough

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NSW Police highway patrol cars sacrifice officer safety with billboard graphics

The October three-day weekend holiday in Australia has just passed and earlier in the week the New South Wales Police launched their “Operation Slowdown” safe driving campaign with a display of new vehicles and sobering interviews for the gathered media. This year the Highway Patrol cars featured a graphic scheme that would have to be the most complex and confusing billboard scheme ever seen over the years on any Highway Patrol vehicle in Australia . At the conclusion of the post published on 16 September 2012 I touched on how there seemed to be a common and long tradition of complex graphics and “boy racer” style markings affixed to Highway Patrol cars from the different states in this country.

Yet again the use of operational police vehicles as “community policing high-visibility billboards” has compromised the vehicle marking schemes. A Police highway patrolsuccessful marking scheme should enhance conspicuity and effectively transmit visual information to other drivers instead of making the vehicle more difficult to see and avoid by simply covering it in graphic public relations camouflage. Rapid recognition is one of the major critical elements that must be engineered onto the vehicle when placing markings on patrol cars, especially cars that are likely to be involved in emergent response or pursuits. Continue reading

Posted in AV Reference Library, Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Almost right ….. finally a NSW Police PR Porsche displays an effective conspicuity band-of-colour

The New South Wales Police Force have taken possession of a $200,000 Panamera Sedan on loan from Porsche Australia. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald describes how the Porsche will be used as a non-operational community relations vehicle. Despite all the entertaining comments printed under the article and the outrageous street price we pay for these cars in Australia, the vehicle will certainly attract attention. This is due in part to a wide panel of fluorescent yellow affixed to the sides of the vehicle, a trend  I can only hope will migrate onto the operational vehicles in the fleet (minus the blue hybridised sillitoe check pattern that is currently displayed around the Porsche).

NSW Police Porsche

The markings on the Porsche have obviously been designed by a graphic artist so there is no way of knowing if the large panel of colour is intentional or accidental. Either way the wide stripe placement is effective and to be encouraged. The large logo forming the O in Police can even be overlooked. A solid panel of colour beneath the door sill would be preferable but you could live with the chequered pattern under the sill if the front and rear checks were removed and replaced with panels of fluorescent colour. Leaving the checquers on the rear would certainly increase the likelihood of the car being rear-ended.

Affixing fluorescent/reflective colours to the operational fleet would greatly benefit the safety of NSW police officers on the roads and also provide an increased sense of community presence just like this Porsche.

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Ambulance crash in Victoria, Australia – HiVizTV

HiViz-TV icon - www.ambulancevisibilityTwo Ambulance Victoria paramedics thankfully suffered only minor injuries after hitting a street barrier while travelling to an emergency case under lights and sirens. Bystanders attempted to release the crew by breaking the windshield, however they crawled to the back of the ambulance and opened the rear doors to escape.

The linked video demonstrates the effectiveness of the Mercedes Sprinter van unified body construction in maintaining vehicle integrity during an accident and rollover.

Link to video –

Ambulance Victoria crash

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Law & Order – 2012 Police Vehicle Design Competition

The results of this year’s police vehicle marking design competition have been published by Law & Order magazine. I think this competition is a great idea and it brings together a wide cross-section of police vehicles from all over the United States. EMS could well do with a similar contest. The article opens with the following paragraph: Law & Order

“First and foremost, a police vehicle’s design should be about safety and identification. Agencies’ designs have also begun incorporating state, county and regional symbols, mission statements and mottos to represent the communities they serve.”

Unfortunately despite their best intentions, just about all of the winning layouts except the Best Rear Warning from North Richland Hills Police Department completely missed the safety and visibility goals. While black & white vehicles abound, some of the cars are obviously intended to be public relations or awareness vehicles used away from emergent response. However most vehicles shown continue to be actively used for working patrols. The difference between “high-visibility community awareness” has once again become confused with “high-visibility safety markings.” Significantly, the competition has drifted away from officer safety in vehicles to one of agency billboard design with visually confusing marking layouts. Continue reading

Posted in Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, Motorcycles, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment