Missouri Department of Transportation to use LRAD Sound Cannons on Speeding Drivers

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System will shoot warning messages through drivers’ windshields

Mikael Thalen
April 9, 2014

The Missouri Department of Transportation revealed two newly acquired LRAD sound cannons this week, which will reportedly be used to target vehicles that speed in work zones.

Coming in at $25,000 a piece, the Long-Range Acoustic Device, a sonic weapon best know for its use against protesters and insurgents in Afghanistan, will alert drivers to road conditions by shooting a loud verbal message through their windshields.

“The LRAD puts out up to 153 decibels of sound through an emitter, not a loud speaker,” said MoDOT employee Michele Compton. “The sound easily penetrates the windshield and well-insulated cab of a car, even overriding the vehicle’s engine sounds and a radio turned up loud enough to jam to tunes at highway speeds.”

Along with being placed at highway work sites, the LRADs will also be mounted to the back of MoDOT work vehicles. During a 2013 field test, an integrated radar unit was used to automatically activate the LRAD when an “at-risk vehicle” approached to closely.

“Slow vehicles ahead,” a voice repeats between loud alarm sounds.

At a similar test with LRAD Corporation representatives, State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright referred to the system as a valuable safety tool.

“When you hear that, you do pay attention,” Wright said. “The intent is for a driver to hear it, to capture their attention, not startle.”

While MoDOT says the LRAD will be used at safe levels, the system is more than capable of causing irreversible damage if used past 130d.

Residents of Kansas City were less than thrilled to learn that their state’s transportation department had become the first in the country to purchase such a system.

“What about the workers and those that live near the construction zone?” Laurie Merrill noted on Facebook. “Who wants to have that constantly blaring in their ears.”

While MoDOT will undoubtedly work to convince residents of the device’s usefulness, its continued roll-out in the United States has few excited.

The U.S. Air National Guard purchased half a million dollars worth of portable LRAD systems to be deployed throughout the country in 2012.

“The Air National Guard will be deploying the LRAD 100X systems throughout the country to support and assist civil authorities in the event of severe natural or man-made disasters,” President and CEO of LRAD Tom Brown said.

During the 2009 G20 summit in Pittsburgh, militarized police for the first time used several LRAD units mounted to armored vehicles against peaceful protesters.


  1. The weapons of war ALWAYS come home to be used on citizens. I am more and more convinced that overseas combat is nothing but live training for “civil unrest” at home.

  2. Hopefully someone can come up with a car mounted magnetron strong enough to burn out all these statute-enforcing but constitutionally unlawful and distracting speed detecting devices.

    • I have a friend, a now-retired electronics engineer, who has expressed interest in doing this and has some ideas for a pulse-type device to take out cameras and other monitoring devices. (He is also interested in GPS jammers, though I think there are some of those already on the market.)

      Unfortunately he went through an extremely bitter divorce that among other things destroyed his business, so the idea is currently on hold for a while.

  3. Would serve the bastards right if the sudden blast of sound startled the driver enough to lose control of the car and steer right into the “work crew”. Noise canceling headphones should keep the s.o.b.’s out of your head, so they’ll probably declare they’re “illegal” to wear while driving. Hopefully there are noise canceling earbuds available, their small size makes them inconspicuous.

  4. Economist asks – Police or Soldiers?

    US Police are acting like military rather than local police. The smallest towns in New Jersey have swat teams at taxpayer expense. The whole argument against standing armies was that they promoted war or they were a waste of funds. I have seen the police call in numerous squad cars to chase a teenage boy drinking beer on a step to a house. Then there was the report of two young boys shooting potatoes into a lake using a pipe and hair spray. The swat team held the two boys under 13 on the ground at gun point.

    The Economist has now written about how America’s police have gone paramilitary. Look at police in Washington, DC and you will see they carry machine guns. There was one in the train station just walking all tough looking with bullet-proof gear giving the impression if you jumped up quickly you would be shot. The image of the policeman who helped children or got the cat out of the tree without shooting it from the 1950s, captured by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), are gone. This is what the propaganda of “terrorism” has done to our society. We have lost the age of innocence completely.

  5. Unaccountable commissars declare unilateral war on the prols. Commissar Dickhead said F’um, we will use anything we want because it’s fun to watch the victims jump.

  6. That’s very creepy shit.
    They say, “The intent is for a driver to hear it, to capture their attention, not startle.”

    ‘Intent’ my ass. ‘Startle’ is exactly what they will be doing.
    Everyone will be put on edge.
    It’s freaking terrorism! Of a sonic variety.
    I imagine many people will freak the Hell out when that happens, then they’ll jerk the steering wheel or slam on the brakes. SMASH! BANG! CRASH!

    Anyway, next up: they’ll be beaming that uber-gooberment bullshit straight into people’s brains?

    [I wonder if there is a hack for this, a sound barrier of some kind? A sort of cabin-wide headphone APP for crap like this?]

    “when an “at-risk vehicle” approached to closely” eh? The words of Clover heaven. No, this sort of b.s. won’t expand to all walks of life, no. Not a chance. Ack.

    Sonic assault.
    Sonic battery.
    Assholes, every one of them.


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