Falling asleep at the wheel is a major road safety concern, leading to numerous, sometimes fatal, accidents. In the town of Qingdaolocated in the province of shanghaiThe authorities have recently taken an innovative approach, to say the least, to combat this cycle: the installation of a laser light curtain along the road. This initiative was designed to awaken drivers’ senses and prevent drowsy driving, a common cause of accidents.
The unique experience reported by several netizens on social media quickly caught the attention of the web. While driving on the highway QingyinLiu was startled by the sudden appearance of bright laser lights streaking across the night sky. According to him, the effect was so stimulating that he immediately felt invigorated. This reaction seems to be the goal pursued by this measure, offering a potentially effective solution against driving fatigue. The Chinese press, which also reported the information, saw it as an innovation.
Lasers for a good cause
The light fixtures in question are not simple lighting; these are laser barriers designed specifically to combat fatigue. Brigade leaders Zhangdian of the Qingdao Traffic Division say these installations are designed to be unobtrusive to drivers’ vision while providing sensory stimulation. This system is said to be particularly beneficial in adverse driving conditions such as rain, snow or fog, where visibility is reduced.
The reactions to this new system have been diverse. While some netizens praised the innovation as a creative and driver-responsive design, others expressed concern about its potential for distraction. Skeptics fear that the surprise and novelty of the light show will distract drivers from the road or even cause them to capture the moment on their cellphones, introducing a new risk of distraction.
Mario Kart Songs
Comparisons to elements of popular culture, such as the “Rainbow Road” from the video game Mario Kart, demonstrate the visually captivating and almost playful aspect of these anti-fatigue lasers. A video shared on social networks allowed the image of these Chinese highways bathed in supernatural light to be widely disseminated, arousing astonishment and curiosity.
Despite the controversy over the actual effectiveness and potential risks, this type of innovation highlights the commitment of the Qingdao authorities to find solutions to improve road safety. Whether the benefit of alerting the driver outweighs the risk of distraction remains to be assessed. Currently, the evidence on the impact of these anti-fatigue laser barriers in reducing traffic accidents is inconclusive, but the initiative has certainly put the city of Qingdao in the spotlight as a pioneer in experimenting with solutions technologies for road safety.