The other day, the Sanchon Hunjang was discussing 졸음운전 with one of the guys at work. We both have to travel 5o+ km each way to work, and have been working some pretty late hours.
So CP 'fesses up that he was dozing at the wheel not too long ago as he was going through the Highpass
gate and he accidentally hit some guard rail, damaging the bottom of his car but not seriously. More than anything, it just woke him back up and shocked him into realizing that dozing while driving might be dangerous. Duh.
His solution was to pop in a CD and sing to himself as loud as he could with the windows down all the way home to fight off the urge to sleep. He must have looked like a nutcase to those who drove past him, but at least he got home and to bed in one piece. That day, anyhow. After hearing his story, the Sanchon Hunjang decided that if he ever runs across CP's Grandeur on the freeway to quickly put as much distance between us as possible.
But the ever-creative folks over at the Korea Expressway Corporation
(note that "공사" that Chinese people just use to mean "company," but Koreans use to mean quasi-government corporate entity, as distinct from 회사) have their own way to combat sleepy drivers.
On October 22, they announced
that Korea is the second nation in the world, after only Japan
, to have developed a new and powerful freeway technology that both prevents drivers from becoming sleepy as well as preventing speeding and other driving faults that may result in traffic accidents.
What is this wonderful power in the fight against traffic mayhem, you may ask. A little background may be helpful in the unveiling. Surely you have seen (or rather "heard") the grooves that are sometimes carved into the shoulder of the road, especially on sharp turns, to let the driver know that she has gone over the line. The tires vibrate as they pass over the grooves to make a whining sound that is different from the sound of wheels gyrating quickly over ordinary asphalt.
Well, those amazing physicists over at K-EX have applied this same grooving technology into lines that cover a whole lane for a short stretch of freeway. Of course they ad noticed that differences in spacing between grooves can create different types of vibrations. Specifically different pitches
. And by varying the length of these differently spaced grooves, you can get pitches that last for a relatively longer or shorter period of time. Surely the intelligent readers of the Sanchon Hunjang's humble web diary are getting a feeling for where this is going...they have engraved a short section of the slow lane on the 서울외곽순환도로 so that it plays music
It works like this:
And the song that they have chosen to immortalize in asphalt is the dear 동요 called "비행기," that goes "떴다 떴다 비행기 날아라 날아라, 높이 높이 날아라." Or in English, it's known as "Mary Had a Little Lamb." If you'd like to hear the musical masterpiece for yourself, try this video clip
. Or try it in person.
It is on the 서울외곽순환도로 for 판교, a bit south of 안현 IC at km 103, right before exit #29 (조남IC), between 시흥, 군포 and 안산. There is a sign right before announcing that you are soon to enjoy the strains of the 노래하는 고속도로.
After having experienced the singing freeway for myself, the Sanchon Hunjang has to give it a vote for being 신기해. And it may conceivably help jar somebody back from dozing. Provided that person happened to be dozing right over the short stretch where the grooves are. But how its supposed to prevent speeding or other driver faults....? Do you suppose asphalt/concrete dust carved from new grooves may have hallucinogenic properties?