US 20060055559 A1
A traffic control device specially adapted to replace lines of slow-burning flares now commonly used to direct vehicular traffic around a crime or accident scene. The device includes two spools of ribbons that mount a series of fluorescent, reflective and illuminated markers. The ribbons can be quickly unrolled and laid out on the pavement separately or end-to-end. The ribbons have laterally bendable segments that allow definition of horizontally arcuated traffic patterns. The illuminated markers are fired in repetitive sequential pattern pointing toward the direction of traffic. The spools are mounted on a holding caddy and incorporate a power source and an electronic lighting control unit for the illuminated markers.
1. The vehicular traffic control device which comprises:
at least one spoolable length of ribbon having a top surface, a bottom surface, lateral edges, a distal end, and a proximal end;
a plurality of directional markers mounted on said top surface;
a first type of interconnecting means at said distal end;
a second type of interconnecting means, at said second end cooperatively matable to said first type of connecting means; and
whereby a number of said lengths of ribbon can be interconnected end-to-end and laid on a roadway to direct traffic.
2. The device of
3. The device of
4. The device of
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6. The device of
whereby said markers are sequential enabled according to the direction of traffic.
7. The device of
a transparent cover;
a lighting element; and
a light-enabling circuit.
8. The device of
a caddy including:
at least one roller movably supporting said frame above ground; and
at least one spool shaped and dimensioned to spirally accommodate at least one of said lengths of ribbon.
9. The device of
10. The device of
11. The device of
12. The device of
whereby said length of ribbon may be laid flat on the ground in a horizontally arcuate pattern.
13. The device of
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This invention relates to signs and traffic indicators and more specifically roadside traffic control indicators used to direct traffic around an accident or crime scene.
Traffic and law enforcement officers, as well as on-site emergency service personnel, commonly use lighted flares and reflective markers positioned directly on the pavement in order to divert traffic around a crime or accident scene. Each marker or flare must be positioned by hand against incoming traffic. This very hazardous task exposes the officers to a high risk of collision with passing vehicles.
The extinguishment of a flare or upsetting of a marker can create a gap in the traffic-diverting line which, if mistaken by a motorist for a permissible exit may cause a vehicle to burst upon the accident or crime scene. Besides the risk of injury to the victim and attending personnel, such a disruption can interfere with the investigation of the crime or accident and cause the destruction of critical evidence.
This invention results from an attempt to find a more expedient, and reliable way to delineate a traffic pattern across one or more traffic lanes.
The principal and secondary objects of this invention are to provide law enforcement and traffic officers, as well as people attending to an accident on a highway, with a means to rapidly deploy a traffic control indicator to direct incoming vehicles away from a crime or accident scene and make the traffic control indication immune to trespassing interference by passing vehicles.
This and other valuable objects are achieved by a spooled ribbon mounting a series of fluorescent, reflective and lighted markers, that can be quickly unrolled and laid out on the pavement. The ribbon has laterally bendable segments that allow definition of laterally accurate traffic patterns. The lighted markers are sequentially enabled to create flashing lines oriented in the direction of traffic. Several such ribbons can be connected end-to-end and can be quickly rolled back on the spool mounted on a rolling caddy. A battery and lighting control circuit is packaged in the hub of the spool.
Referring now to the drawing, there is shown in
As more specifically illustrated in
As more specifically illustrated in
In this preferred embodiment of the invention, the sequence of lighted and non-lighted markers between the two narrowed sections 53 consists of two non-lighted markers 31 at the front, two more at the end of the sequence framing two lighted markers separated by a non-lighted one for a total of seven markers. The second lighted marker in the sequence is mounted in an axially inverse orientation in reference to the first one in order to provide a non-crossing continuous pattern of conductors in the ribbon cable 53 as shown in the diagram of
As illustrated in
The just-described lighting sequence is provided by the lighting control unit 29 located in the hub cavity 27 and illustrated in
The output frequency of the clock signal out of the oscillator of preferably sixteen hertz and that of the start signal one hertz. Each ribbon has a total length of approximately ten meters (about thirty-three feet), a width of 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) and a total height, excluding the markers, of 0.63 centimeters (0.25 inches). Each marker has an axial length of five centimeters (two inches), and rises only 0.63 centimeter (0.25 inches) above the upper surface of the web.
On the spool having a radius of 30 centimeters (12 inches), with a hub of a 10 centimeter (4 inches) radius about 10 meters (33 feet) of ribbon can be spirally wound. Larger spools or shorter ribbon can be implemented so that a single spool can accommodate several ribbons.
Each ribbon carries 64 lighted markers and 96 unlighted ones. Based on a firing rate of one per second and a lighting period of 0.625 second per marker, about two sequential lighting patterns will appear at all time on each ribbon.
Distance marks 62 placed along a lateral edge of the web as shown in
It should be noted that by having several lighting components in each lighting marker no gap in the lighting sequence will be created if one or two of the components burn out. Moreover, the burn out of the entire series of lighting components in a marker will not interrupt the lighting sequence. Failed lighting markers can be quickly popped out off the web and replaced by a new component. The tongue-and-groove engagement of the markers with the web flanged rails and surrounding non-lighted markers provide a waterproof seal that protects the printed circuit board and the contact pads on the ribbon cable against the intrusion of water or other corrosive liquids.
The lens cover of the lighted markers can be made of polycarbonate or other strong plastic material that will resist breakage under the impact weight of trespassing vehicles.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, modifications can be made and other embodiments may be devised without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.