Pickup lighting package improves safety for ITD maintenance foremen          

Tired of close calls while responding to highway incidents, D2 requested to trial something different earlier this year - a special lighting package installed on the pickups of maintenance foremen in the region. They tested small LED flashing lights placed in the grill and below the tailgates on a pair of pickups. The additional lights provide an intense strobe at eye level with a normal passenger vehicle, making the ITD vehicle more visible.

It’s a simple solution, but highly effective. It is also a great “Times 7” innovation candidate.This video shows the special lighting package.

D2 used a 1-inch by 4-inch surface-mounted light that flashes alternating clear and amber.

The lights communicate with each other and alternate flashes without developing a rhythm, which makes them more attention-grabbing.

Installation of the lights took just one day in each of the pickups and cost less than $100.
“All indications are that they have worked well,” reported Moscow Maintenance Foreman Bud Converse. “Its something different than what the traveling public has seen on our vehicles before, and it appears to be causing the traveler to slow and be more attentive.”

“I have had people actually pull over for me, which wasn’t the intent, but the lights sure made a statement to those folks,” he added.

"The extra lights really get the traveling public's attention," said Lewiston Maintenance Foreman Nick Rales. "They are bright and sharp with great clarity,"

Converse presented a demonstration of the new lighting package at the State Foreman's Meeting in June to a very positive reception. “Several Foremen are anxious to adopt them,” Converse said.

District 2 is in the heart of farm country. Drivers are routinely inundated with various rotating amber beacon lights on various pieces of farm equipment and flagging vehicles. This caused many drivers to become numb to the lights — a definite safety hazard.

The new flashing LED lights solved this problem, improving safety for both the public and employees by increasing the visibility of ITD vehicles.

As a result of this success, ITD is investigating making this standard on maintenance vehicles statewide (excluding sedans), pending approval from the Idaho State Police on the permissable colors of the lights.

Published 08-11-17