Missouri To Blast Speeders With Ear-Piercing Sound Cannons (Video)

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to blast high-pitch sirens at speeders using sound cannons.

MoDOT just acquired two Long Range Acoustic Devices, or LRADs, that emit a squeal up to 153 decibels, which sound something like a ray gun out of a sci-fi flick, and a verbal warning that tells the driver to slow down.

How loud is 153 decibels? A Boeing 747 taking off right next to you would be quieter, according to Jalopnik, which notes permanent hearing loss begins at 130 decibels.

MoDOT says the sound cannon will be used at “safe levels.”

"The sound easily penetrates the windshield and well-insulated cab of a car, even overriding the vehicle's engine sounds and a radio turned up loud enough to jam to tunes at highway speeds,” said MoDot employee Michele Compton.

They plan to install the cannons around highway work zones or on the back of construction vehicles.

Missouri residents have criticized the move, saying it's unsafe to take driver by surprise while they’re travelling at speeds over 20 mph.

Previously the LRAD, known as an “acoustical weapon,” has been used to disperse riots and defend ships against pirates.

Sources: Gizmodo, Jalopnik