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Safety Cast's Radio Alert for Pursuits

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 52 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2004 Pages: 20,22,24
Christy Whitehead
Date Published
March 2004
3 pages
This article describes the Interceptor, a device that allows emergency responders to transmit emergency messages up to one-fifth of a mile away.
Accidents between emergency responder vehicles and private motorists are often deadly because of the high speeds involved. In many cases, motorists report they never heard the siren or saw flashing lights. One citizen who was nearly involved in a collision with a fire truck because he did not hear the siren, is the chief technology officer for Safety Cast, which designed the Interceptor to increase officer and public safety. The system works by transmitting messages to drivers via AM and FM frequencies simultaneously to warn of an emergency vehicle approaching or an emergency situation in the vicinity. The device is the size of a VCR tape and can transmit recorded messages to the front or rear of the vehicle, omni-directional, or 360 degrees. While the device has won rave reviews from police officers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in July 2003 against the use of the Interceptor, stating that it would cause “harmful interference.” Similar devices have failed to gain the approval of the FCC. There has also been concern that the device may penetrate home radios or interfere with medical equipment, cell phones, or aircraft radios. On the other hand, those involved with the Amber Alert system for missing children foresee using the device to help quickly capture kidnappers and save children. Another use for the Interceptor is as an extension to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The current EAS is rarely used because its geographic coverage is so immense. The Interceptor could focus the EAS in only certain areas. Those interested in the technology are directed to visit the Safety Cast Web site to sign a petition of support to help push the technology through the FCC.