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Freeway Debris Removal Bungee Net

Safely remove debris from highway at speed
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From time to time, stuff falls off of cars / trucks. Boxes, ladders, bicycles, mattresses, you name it.

And it can be very dangerous to encounter a random item in your path at highway speeds. Just yesterday, I saw a bicycle that had fallen off and been run over in the middle of a lane on a curve, just waiting to cause disaster for the next unfortunate driver to encounter.

It can take a long time for law enforcement to arrive, run a traffic break, stop traffic, and remove the item.

I propose a system deployed from standard tow trucks which would consist of an extensible tripod hoist, a sizeable net, and appropriate bungee cords with shock absorbing hydraulics. The stretchiness of the bungee cords would allow for damage-preventing steady acceleration of the debris while the hydraulics would dissipate energy from the impact and prevent slingshotting. Cable winches would gently bring the debris into control.

If implemented on the majority of tow trucks, a call to the highway patrol could alert the nearest equipped tow truck. Reimbursement could be though highway taxes, or fines if the litterer can be located.

csea, May 26 2008

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