KANSAS CITY, June 28, 2019 -- Department of Transportation officials from Missouri and Kansas announced a joint program today designed to keep emergency response personnel and their vehicles safer on the highways when assisting motorists. Drivers in Kansas City, Wichita, Salina, and Topeka will begin receiving digital alerts via the Waze mobile navigation app when they are approaching KDOT and MoDOT emergency response vehicles actively providing service as part of the new program being launched this month. A total of 12 MoDOT vehicles and 19 KDOT vehicles will utilize the service as part of the initial phase of the program.This digital alerting service is powered by HAAS Alert, a Chicago-based company with a real-time, collision prevention service that is currently used by almost one hundred fleets across the US and Canada. MoDOT and KDOT Emergency Response vehicles will have a small HAAS Alert device installed that uses GPS and cellular technologies to precisely track and transmit vehicle location data to the HAAS Alert Safety Cloud™. When the vehicles’ emer-gency lights are activated, the Safety Cloud sends the digital alerts to nearby motorists, provid-ing them with advance warning and enough time to safely slow down and change lanes in compliance with Kansas’ Move Over Law and Missouri’s Move Over, Slow Down law.
Collisions and struck-by incidents are common nationwide and rank as leading causes of death for firefighters and police officers, despite active “Move Over” laws in nearly every state and lights and sirens on emergency vehicles. These First Responders, along with EMS, motorist assistance vehicles, tow trucks, and other roadside workers, face significant danger and harm every time they respond to an emergency on the side of the road.
Shari Hilliard, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Engineer for Kansas Department of Transportation, says “We’re excited to adopt HAAS Alert technology to make our roads safer for both our emergency responders and highway motorists. We believe this digital alerting service will prevent collisions and save lives, and we’re pleased to be partnering with Missouri officials to pursue this goal together.”
“Aware and informed drivers are safe drivers, and HAAS Alert provides officials and responders with a simple and effective way to keep everyone on the road more informed in real-time,” said Susan Barry, MoDOT Kansas City’s Assistant District Engineer. “We’re eager to improve the safety for Missouri and Kansas commuters in the months ahead.”Cory Hohs, CEO and co-founder of HAAS Alert, says he’s seen a spike in DOTs across the country engage HAAS Alert for protecting their highway crews. “Using digital alerting to get the attention of distracted drivers has been found to reduce the risk of collision by 60 to 90 percent. Since our safety service leverages today’s cellular network, every mile of highway in the US and Canada can be protected by the HAAS Alert Safety Cloud."