Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Solar Flashing Beacons Improve School Zone Safety

The city of Bethany, Oklahoma is investing in 52 solar light emitting diode (LED) flashing beacons to improve the safety of the its district school zones.

The R829 dual-flashing amber LED solar traffic beacons, provided by Carmanah Technologies Corporation and sold by local Carmanah distributor Gades Sales Inc., represent a significant safety improvement for Bethany students. The R829 solar LED flashing beacons will be used to reduce vehicle speeds that are approaching the school zones from nearby residential areas. Carmanah’s R829 solar LED flashing beacon is designed specifically for school-zone applications and features wireless communication between beacons, a calendar program for activation and maintenance-free operation for up to five years.

Bethany identified those safety issues surrounding its schools that were identical, which were that the residential roadways that extended from the school to the urban areas did so without obvious distinction. Vehicle speeds dangerously exceeded safe levels as traffic entered or exited the residential areas. The city’s treatment of the school zones included erecting designated school zone speed signs with accompanying dual-head solar LED flashing beacons.

Studies have shown that flashing beacons increase visibility of marked signage and reduce vehicle speeds by up to 5 to 7 miles per hour. Solar flashing beacons eliminate the need to wire or trench at the site, reducing traffic disruption and work crew time and costs. The time-to-install factor was an important one, as the city wanted to have installation completed before students and traffic returned to school in September. The need for a fast, effective solution was met by the Carmanah solar LED flashing solution.

The City of Bethany is funding the new solar LED flashing beacons with money provided by the US DOE Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which invests in clean energy technologies that protect the environment and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Carmanah, which manufactures its products in Houston, Texas, complied with those Buy American provisions of the Recovery Act that Bethany required if the stipulations of the EECBG funding agreement were to be met.  Read Full Story

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