This small device intercepts the FM radio you are listening to in your car and warns you well in advance that an ambulance is on the way. You get sufficient time to swerve and give way to it.
With roads crowded, the arrival of an ambulance to the accident site and then rush to the nearest hospital can be difficult these days. And in a city like Muscat where most motorists drive with their air-conditioners on, the ambulance siren is unlikely to be heard.
Lights and sirens can only been seen and heard in the immediate area with sound insulation preventing any siren from being heard beyond the next car or two. Research has shown sirens can only be heard 8 to 12 metres from the emergency vehicle at intersections and only 2 metres from the emergency vehicle on an expressway.
The effective range of sirens is 8 to 12 metres at urban intersections and 2 metres when travelling at 100km per hour. This gives a warning time of under 5 seconds which is not enough for drivers to safely move out of the way, according to the company which exhibited its product at the recent Traffic Expo.
Radiolert Mobile FM80 of Emergency Warning Systems can be heard from 200 metres away from the emergency vehicle, according to an official of the company which is bringing the system to the Sultanate.
This is an FM radio over-broadcast system which allows the emergency vehicle personnel to inform and instruct the surrounding drivers of the best course of action through their own FM radio receiver, the official said.
By communicating clear spoken instructions to drivers, they will know when and how to respond, thus reducing response times and the risk of accidents occurring to emergency personnel, vehicles and the public at large.
Lights and sirens increase the risk of being involved in a serious crash and decrease emergency response time by only 2 to 5 minutes.
Sirens create hazardous noise levels of 120 decibels and more. Regular exposure to this noise level for over a minute has the risk of permanent hearing loss.
The Radiolert Mobile FM80 provides a safer and more effective solution than sirens and can reach more drivers further ahead, claims the Melbourne-based company, whose product is being brought to the Sultanate by Al Madina Development and Supply.
Bimal Shivaji | Oman Tribune