Grote Industries granted FMCSA waiver to mount brake-activated pulsing lamps on trailers

Aux Brake light Flashing
When added to a trailer’s existing brake-light system, Grote Industries’ brake-activated Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp pulses amber for five seconds and then goes to solid red, providing added visibility and helping reduce the likelihood of rear-end crashes. (Courtesy: Grote Industries)

MADISON, Ind. — Grote Industries has received a waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that allows motor carriers to install brake-activated pulsating warning lamps on trailers and van body trucks. The pulsating lights supplement the steady-burning lamps required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

According to a Dec. 8 statement issued by Grote, more than 300 rear-end collisions involving trailers occur on U.S. highways each day. According a recent study, a flashing amber brake-activated light can help reduce the frequency of rear-end collisions by more than 33%. The waiver, FMCSA–2020–0122, was granted based in part on this data.

Grote Amber Light
(Courtesy: Grote Industries)

Grote didn’t just petition for the waiver; the company also developed a solution. To bring greater visibility to trailers during the critical moments when the vehicle is braking, engineers at Grote developed the Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp, an add-on warning light that can be easily wired into a trailer’s existing brake-light circuit.

In developing this new lamp, rather than just repackaging an existing product, Grote’s engineers studied the problem and listened to the needs of their customers. The Grote Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp was designed to effectively draw the attention of traffic and give following motorists greater warning of braking. To ensure that nearby drivers are aware of the vehicle’s actions, braking initiates a sequence of five amber flashes in four seconds, followed by a solid-red burn. This light sequence far exceeds the attention-getting capability of standard solid-burn brake lights — while not overwhelming following drivers with long periods of strobing.

“The unique advantages of Grote’s Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp have gotten the attention of fleets throughout the nation,” said Mark Blackford, Grote’s director of national fleet sales. “Additional functionality for auxiliary lights will cut down on accidents and property damage, and will make our roadways safer. With a product like this, at the end of the day, everyone wins.”

Blackford said he expects to see a number of benefits as a result of the waiver and the option of the new warning-light system, both for fleets and for the driving public.

Drawing attention to the actions of trailers will increase operator safety and minimize rear-end collisions, resulting in less equipment and freight damage, less downtime, and fewer delayed shipments. For fleet managers, that means a better safety record, fewer CSA headaches, more money saved, and most importantly, a safer road for everyone.

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