U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Contact: Suzy Bohnert
FMCSA Providing Safety Support
At 2002 Winter Olympics
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is employing infrared technology to screen trucks and buses for potential problems with brakes, tires, and gears as these vehicles travel roads near the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
From Feb. 3-24, the FMCSA and DOT personnel from Utah, New Mexico, and Virginia as well as from the product manufacturer, Infra Red Inspection System Ltd. (I.R.I.S.), is using this infrared technology. It was funded and evaluated by the FMCSA.
Thermal-imaging cameras will allow the Utah Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Division and FMCSA representatives, in addition to other DOT personnel, to enhance existing safety initiatives at the Olympics. The Canadian-based manufacturer of the system will also provide its services on-site. All screening personnel have undergone background checks before working at this event.
First used during the Persian Gulf War - specifically in the nose cones of Sidewinder missiles - this military technology now has civilian applications. At the Olympics, four vans equipped with high-resolution monitors will use an infrared sensor to screen trucks and buses traveling at highway speeds, noting temperature discrepancies with varying colors on those monitors. This system alerts roadside enforcement officers to identify possible problems.
The technology was manufactured by I.R.I.S. of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. FMCSA personnel tested it in four U.S. states before its use at the Olympics. FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program facilitates the purchase of enforcement tools and equipment, such as the I.R.I.S system, by states.
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