Lights And Sirens…

I was driving into work yesterday and I passed several places where police cars were pulled over at broken down cars, accidents and/or speeders (not likely given it was rush hour… but maybe) and I noticed the light bars and their patterns and activities.  It dawned on me that (duh) we don’t have the bubble spinny lights on police cars any more.  We have computerized light bars.  They are totally cool and awesome if you are one of those INSIDE the car.

I understand that innocent bystanders (we serve and protect… ) probably don’t matter a whole lot and if you are not controlled in your seizures you aren’t supposed to be driving… but.. you know… there are passengers in cars driving past that people also in the cars care about… people who might be sensitive to the flashes…

There are pedestrians who are walking along the road or on the sidewalk who could seize and end up in the street.

It isn’t that I long for the good ole days (okay, okay, I’m getting to be old enough that sometimes I do… but not in this case) it is that the brilliant people who come up with these wicked cool toys that the emergency response vehicles have to help them in their pursuit of protecting all of the people need to realize that there are (GASP) people that they need to protect that they are probably causing harm to.

I understand that the good of the many usually outweighs the good of the few, but if we made the leap between the bubble light to the AWESOME COOL (sarcasm… sorry… I’ve been into the coffee this morning) light bars, I’m betting that we, as a people, could figure out how to pull over for something less apt to be seizure inducing than what we have now.

We put warnings on games.  We alert bicyclist that their flashy lights may be a trigger.  We try to alert people at Halloween and Christmas that strobe lights and rapidly blinking lights may be triggers.

And maybe, just maybe, these lights don’t trigger more than 1% of even those who have Photosensitve Epilepsy (see Wikipedia definition below), and maybe the ones that might be triggered aren’t Tonic Clonic (grand mal for those who know what they used to be called) but only absence seizures… SO what.  If one person is affected by the people who are PROTECTING the public… is it really worth looking wicked cool when you are serving and protecting?

Today, I’m going to craft my own letter to the local police suggesting that the light bars may be causing seizures.  I figure it will by my version of jousting at windmills, but I’m nothing (as many people who know me will attest) if not the champion of lost causes.

Photsensitve Epilepsy is when “seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular moving patterns”


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