New Siren May Shake You Up

Tuesday, February 19th 2008, 11:06 pm
By: News On 6

If you hear an unusual sound behind you when you're driving, it could be a new police siren.  The Tulsa Police Department is testing three sirens called Rumbler's, to see if they are safer for officers and citizens than traditional sirens.  News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright test drove the latest crime-fighting technology.

One of the new sirens is on a squad car at three different uniform divisions.

It's called the Rumbler because you don't just hear it, you also feel it.

Officer Mark Sole is one of three officers selected to test the new Rumbler siren, which basically involves adding subwoofers, to drop the sound of the siren several octaves.

"It definitely gets the attention of the public a lot faster than traditional sirens," said Officer Sole.

Why is that important?

People often don't hear sirens because of listening to the radio or talking on the phone.  Sometimes, they tune out sirens because they hear them so often and when they do hear them at the last minute, drivers invariably slam on their brakes.

"A police vehicle has the potential of traveling at higher speeds than a fire truck or ambulance and we are a lot smaller than those two other vehicles," said Officer Sole.

Because of the lower octave, it does seem to get the attention of drivers much more quickly.  You can also feel the siren, but it's very subtle.

"It's not like an earthquake with your car shaking, that's what I compare it to, a guy with a booming stereo, how you can feel that in your car as it goes by," said Officer Sole.

Once the three officers finish the test in about a month, they'll report their findings and the department will decide if and how many additional Rumbler's to buy.

They cost is about $350 each.

If it truly makes people safer, officers say it'll be worth the cost.

The speakers are mounted in front of the front tires, just behind the front bumper.

Officers still have the option of using the regular siren, but all they have to do is hit their horn button and it adds the Rumbler siren to it.