Arizona Department of Public Safety to Test Innovative Safety Tool

May 25, 1999, 01:00 ET from Safety Warning System

    PHOENIX, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Department of Public Safety
 (DPS) will soon begin testing an innovative new technology that can alert
 motorists when a highway hazard is nearby.  Known as the Safety Warning
 System(R) (SWS), the technology enables drivers to receive signals warning
 them of a wide variety of hazards and special traffic conditions.
     The thirty SWS transmitters the Arizona DPS has received will
 automatically operate in two modes that generate specific warning messages in
 the newest generation of "smart" radar receivers now on the market.  When a
 police cruiser is moving with its warning lights activated, the message,
 "Emergency Vehicle in Transit," will be displayed by SWS receivers.  When the
 vehicle is stopped, the message will automatically switch to "Stationary
 Police Vehicle."
     All receivers signal an alert when encountering one of the transmitters,
 and more than seven million of the latest SWS-capable units can display a
 message about the specific type of hazard.  The transmitters can be programmed
 to trigger over 60 messages built into SWS receivers, so drivers know when
 they are approaching a traffic accident, an active rail crossing, a work zone,
 a stopped school bus or dozens of other potential hazards.
     "Because there are already receivers in tens of millions of vehicles, the
 Safety Warning System(R) makes enormous sense as a path toward the intelligent
 highways and vehicles of the future," explained Jason Richards, SWS, L.C.
 legislative and public relations director.  "The Arizona DPS has expressed an
 interest in the system, and we want to show them how useful a highway-safety
 tool it can be."
     After this week's demonstration, the Arizona DPS will keep the
 transmitters for an extended evaluation.  The Safety Warning System(R)
 addresses one of the agency's major concerns -- safety during emergency calls
 and stationary roadside calls.  Arizona DPS's concern is for the safety of the
 public.  They are continually searching for ways to minimize or eliminate the
 numerous hazards associated with possible incidents on the state's roadways,
     There are five broad categories of messages which the transmitters can
 trigger in SWS receivers, including highway construction or maintenance,
 highway hazard zone advisories, weather-related hazards, travel
 information/convenience and fast/slow-moving vehicles, each broken down into
 several precise text messages.
     The Safety Warning System(R) was designed by Georgia Tech Research
 Institute.  Industry partners in the project are BEL-Tronics, L.L.C.; Santeca
 Electronics, Inc.; Uniden America Corporation and Whistler Corporation.
 Initial licensees are MPH Industries, Inc.; SK Global America, Inc.; Escort,
 Inc. and Star Dreams Corporation.

SOURCE Safety Warning System