NSW Fire Engine Sirens to Drop the Bass, Low Frequency Noise Shakes Traffic

ABC News, Saturday 10 August, 2013
NSW fire engine sirens to drop the bass, shake traffic

New South Wales fire engines will have new horns and sirens installed in an attempt to make motorists more aware of the vehicles.

The new sirens emit low frequency soundwaves and cause nearby vehicles to shake, which means drivers will feel the nearby engines, even if they cannot see or hear them.

Fire and Rescue New South Wales Commissioner Greg Mullins says the new technology is part of a push to make drivers more responsive to emergency vehicles.

He says drivers often do not get out of the way, even when they hear the sirens and see the flashing lights.

“When you hear or see an emergency vehicle they’re going to an emergency call out. Lives could hang in the balance,” he said.

“Increasingly we’re finding that motorists don’t get out of the way, or worse, they panic, put on their brakes and nearly cause accidents.”

Commissioner Mullins says the trucks will also have new air horns.

“We’re trialling new air horns that are very distinctive. They don’t sound like anything else on the roads,” he said.

“People will know that’s a fire engine coming up behind me.”

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