The Missouri Department of Transportation revealed two newly acquired LRAD sound cannons this week, which will reportedly be used to target vehicles that speed in work zones.
Coming in at $25,000 a piece, the Long-Range Acoustic Device, a sonic weapon best know for its use against protesters and insurgents in Afghanistan, will alert drivers to road conditions by shooting a loud verbal message through their windshields.
“The LRAD puts out up to 153 decibels of sound through an emitter, not a loud speaker,” said MoDOT employee Michele Compton. “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.”
Along with being placed at highway work sites, the LRADs will also be mounted to the back of MoDOT work vehicles. During a 2013 field test, an integrated radar unit was used to automatically activate the LRAD when an “at-risk vehicle” approached to closely.
“Slow vehicles ahead,” a voice repeats between loud alarm sounds.