and USFA initiate research
The Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) through the United States Fire Administration (USFA), and with the
Department of Transportation (DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
Joint Program Office have initiated a partnership with the Society of Automotive
Engineers (SAE) to research the effect and how to effectively mitigate
the disorientation of motorists caused by the day and nighttime use of
emergency warning lights.
"Year after year approximately 25 percent
of firefighters killed in the line of duty are responding or returning
from incidents, with the majority of the fatalities from vehicle crashes,"
said Michael D. Brown Homeland Security Under Secretary for emergency preparedness
and response. "FEMA and USFA are pleased to partner with USDOT and SAE
to work to mitigate this second leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities."
"Saving lives is the Bush administration’s
top transportation priority, and this partnership underscores our commitment,"
Mary E. Peters, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration said.
"Our goal is to make America’s roads safe for all, and that means protecting
firefighters and emergency responders as well as travelers. We’re committed
to their safety, and this partnership will help prevent loss of life,"
This research will include the effects
of emergency lighting on normal, impaired, and drowsy drivers (also known
as the "moth effect"). All emergency lighting systems will be examined
as part of this effort - including incandescent, halogen, strobe, and light-emitting
diode (LED) systems.
Research findings from this project may
be forwarded to national-level consensus standards organizations such as
the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and others in the development
of relevant/related standards. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
and their Emergency Warning Lighting and Devices Standards Committee may
use the findings in the development of their own standards.
"SAE is pleased to work with DOT and USFA
in this research effort to support the safety of firefighters and other
emergency responders," said SAE President Jack Thompson. "This project
emphasizes our long-term commitment to enhance vehicle safety through local,
national, and international research and awareness programs."
Further information about this research
initiative as well as other USFA emergency vehicle project efforts may
be found on the USFA web site at