Emergency vehicles are supposed to respond to incidents as quickly and
safely as possible, but all too often they are involved in accidents of
their own. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, more than 500 people died from accidents involving
emergency vehicles in the year 2000 alone, and many more were injured. A
new safety system is now being introduced to prevent such accidents.
E-ViEWS involves an emergency vehicle sign designed to keep
drivers out of intersections when emergency vehicles are approaching.
Transponders inside emergency vehicles activate these warning signs at
intersections, letting drivers know from which direction an emergency
vehicle is coming. By showing drivers where the emergency vehicle is
coming from, drivers don’t have to wonder where the siren and flashing
lights are coming from anymore — making the roads much safer.
The E-ViEWS system technology, designed and developed by NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory and brought to market with the help of
Siemens, could also help improve overall communication among
law-enforcement agencies in times of crisis. It’s expected that the
technology will have many more applications down the road, from
intelligent transportation systems to homeland security.