Emergency Vehicle Sirens

We all recognise that there is a need for some kind of emergency vehicle warning system, but the current sirens are incredibly loud and cause panic amongst people who encounter them. Not only that, traditional sirens produce tonal sound which is not directional, so it can be very difficult to tell where an emergency vehicle is coming from.

Chaos and confusion

This creates chaos on the road as motorists try to identify the direction the sound is coming from in order to get out of the way of the oncoming emergency vehicle.

The Noise Abatement Society is campaigning for the use of sirens with broadband sound technology.

This technology, which is directional and utilises white sound, has been very successful in reversing alarms on large vehicles as part of our ‘Quietening the Streets’ campaign.

Local emergency service regulatory bodies currently see no need to change from existing technologies as siren sounding is at the discretion of the vehicle crew. They feel that the noise pollution element is being managed by the driver who is responsible for sounding the sirens only when needed.

However, they have said that they are willing to look at other technologies if they were presented.

A better way

This is important as it becomes increasingly harder for emergency services to manoeuvre quickly through towns and cities due not only to increasing road congestion, but also because of the increasing loudness of in car entertainment technology distracting driver’s attention and masking, to some extent, emergency sirens as they quickly approach from far off.

To this end, NAS is working to develop and trial a broadband sound siren to match current warning needs, but with greater directivity and less adverse impact on the health and safety of staff, patients, the public, especially at night, and other road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicle drivers) and the environment (noise nuisance).

Conventional siren:

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