1 billion for solar road LEDs

January 17, 2009

The house’s proposed 850 billion stimulus package includes 30 billion for highway construction.  Instead of laying more pavement that will need to be maintained, why not make our current roads a lot safer?

Solar-powered road markers increase safety during night and low-visibility driving.  They charge during the day and illuminate all night.

Imagine being able to see stalled cars and other roadside obstructions, and the contour of the road, up to half a mile before your headlights can show you.

The lower accident rate would bring about efficiencies to our economy such as:

  • Lower driver insurance premiums (imagine an extra $100 in your pocket every month)
  • Lower ambulance and other first-responder costs to localities.
  • Lower medical expenses and insurance premiums.
  • Fewer days spent away from work while recuperating.
  • Lower costs for repairing or replacing crashed vehicles.
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2 Responses to “1 billion for solar road LEDs”

  1. Robert Says:

    How expensive would it be to change the current markers? Each LED road marker would have to have a solar panel, a rechargeable battery and the LED Bulb. Maybe they could start changing them in regions with high rates of auto accidents.

  2. still thinking of one Says:

    It’s a cool idea and I’d like to see roads like that at some point, but I’m not sure if the effect will be as significant as you think. The vast majority of accidents are not related to night time visibility, but to road condition(ice/rain) and drunk/inattentive driving. Visibility also is a factor, but it’s mostly fog related where LEDs would be of limited help.


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