The state has determined that the threat of hefty fines hasn't been enough to slow motorists down to the desired work zone speed. Now, they have a new weapon at their disposal, one that was designed for use in war zones and to break up violent protests and street demonstrations.
Missouri's Department of Transportation is preparing to deploy the dreaded Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) sound canon as a means of warning motorists that they are speeding though restricted work zones on the highways.
LRAD emits a specifically targeted, siren-like warning sound that has been described as deafening by those who have heard it.
Apparently the LRAD is easily capable of penetrating the windshield of a modern car and the well insulated cabins too, so avoiding the horrendous noise won't be an option if you're a speeding driver. LRAD will even blare over the top of both engine noise and the radio at highway speed to assault the ears of the driver.
Missouri state has tested the LRAD device by mourning it into the back of a truck and using it as a mobile deterrent. Now though, the state has committed to the technology longer term by purchasing two LRAD units to be used in various parts of the state.
State officials insist that the sound will only be directed at vehicles that haven't slowed down in work zones or moved out of work zone lanes where vehicles are moving slowly further up the road.
The LRAD is capable of delivering a deafening 153 decibels, which is claimed to be more than enough to cause hearing damage to the average person. As you'd expect, that fact has resulted in cries of foul play by state residents.
The Department Of Transport has insisted though that the LRAD will only be deployed at 'safe' levels - whatever that means.
Couple the element of surprise with the deafening sound and there might be the potential for serious road accidents though.