Difference between day, night is now red for FHP
Patrol cars soon will flash red during the day and blue at night. It's science, you see.
By Times Staff
Published August 8, 2005
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Highway Patrol is adding red lights and new sirens to its troopers' cars, hoping the new equipment will make the roadways safer for motorists and its own officers.
It's believed to be the first change to the FHP's traditionally blue and clear light bars that have been in use for more than 50 years.
An FHP study published last year found with flashing lights, twice the amount of blue light energy is needed in daylight to be perceived as bright as red. At night, the situation is reversed.
A computer will automatically turn the red lights on during the day and the blue lights at night.
Instead of having traditional bulbs, the new lights are equipped with light-emitting diodes, known as LEDs, which burn brighter and longer than traditional lights. They also do not require replacing burned out bulbs or faded lenses.
The lights are "probably the most high-tech light bar in law enforcement today," FHP spokesman Larry Coggins said. "Eventually, everyone will have one as their car comes up for trade."
Some of the new lighting units are already in use in South Florida, he said.
The light bars will cost the Highway Patrol about $2,100 each, Coggins said. With about 1,800 vehicles, the agency will pay about $3.7-million for the equipment. Traditional light bars cost about $1,700 to $1,800.
Coggins described the additional expense as a good investment since the costs of maintaining LEDs are lower besides the safety considerations.
The FHP also is lowering the tone of the sirens on patrol cars to make it easier for motorists to hear the siren inside well-insulated vehicles.
[Last modified August 8, 2005, 04:37:47]
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