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  1. #1
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    Strobe Lights and Seizures

    Ok, wow I've never used the ask-a-cop section, hehe.

    The other day I stopped by the department I work at during the school year, to drop off requested brownies (yes thats where the whole brownine thing started), and one of the officers was there talking about how earlier he pulled over a car with two occupants and when he walked up to the vehicle the female driver started shaking a bit and acting strange and he asked the male passengar what was up and I guess she has epilepsy and his strobes on his car were causing her to go into a seizure.

    Has that ever happened to anyone else?, and was just curious if that happens often?
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  2. #2
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    Question

    Never heard of it, but sounds pretty scary. How did she manage to keep her license if there was that possibility every time an ambulance went by?

  3. #3
    FishTail Guest
    Never seen it or heard of it either.

  4. #4
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    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Hmmm

    Yes, strobe lights have been known to induce seizures, even in people without epilepsy. It has to be the right conditions though (dark room, only source of light, and directly in your line of sight.)

    I sincerely doubt they could be triggered by police strobes. If so, she needs to have her license yanked.

    <--grew up with epilepsy
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  5. #5
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    nitestokker is offline Banned
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    Just asked my wife, an experienced EMT...She said it's not common, but it does happen and the victims keep their license by not reporting it to the DMV. Thank God for smart women!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg
    Hmmm

    Yes, strobe lights have been known to induce seizures, even in people without epilepsy. It has to be the right conditions though (dark room, only source of light, and directly in your line of sight.)

    I sincerely doubt they could be triggered by police strobes. If so, she needs to have her license yanked.

    <--grew up with epilepsy
    I know they make me feel unwell if the above contitions are met and sustained for more than 20 minutes or so. I'm not epileptic, but I am very photosensitive. But yes, I've heard of strobe lights inducing seizures.

    This is a link to the Epilepsy Foundation and what they have to say about it. It's very long or I'd just paste it here. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/an...ensitivity.cfm
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  7. #7
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    It can happen

    I'm on the vollie rescue squad near my town, and our ambulance will turn the lights off, or way down in the back of the ambo when transporting siezure patients, because bright lights, strobes, and flashing lights have been known to cause siezures.
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  8. #8
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    Yeah, we were just sitting around and I guess the lady he pulled over called central and was chewing out the dispatcher about the police cars and how the strobes should be taken off of them because of that reason, we had never heard of that so we thought this lady was just pulling our chain, when the officer walked in and kind of laughed and said he had had that happen a bit earlier (it would have been dark.), and that was probably the lady.

    Just had never heard of that occuring with police strobes and wanted to throw it out there.
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  9. #9
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    I've heard of strobes inducing seizures as well...but have never seen it!

    That would suck if everythime you walked back to your unit, after a contact, you fell to the ground and started floping like a fish out of water until some turned off your lightbar!!!
    K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!

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  10. #10
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    My dept has new led lightbars, that when following at night, make me feel a little ill, not sure why though. I've just learned not to stare at or follow the car in front of me too closely.
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  11. #11
    kimby is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky
    I know they make me feel unwell if the above contitions are met and sustained for more than 20 minutes or so.
    Me too. After a while I feel kind of light-headed and nauseated. Unless I keep my back to the lights, but that's not always easy.

  12. #12
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    Whitewolf is offline Hard Of Hearing Non-LEO
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    It's sad. My friend's son has seizures. He loves strobe lights on cop cars, sadly, he can't go near and look at the strobe lights. It's all started when he played too much video games and it developed the seizure at 10. My friend's fault for letting him played for hours. In their home, no more video games (sold in yard sale), no more flashing disco light...nothing. Sad. TV hours are set to a very limit.
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  13. #13
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    Strobes do cause people to go into seizures, especially after dark. Just like the image below will if certain people sit in a dark room and watch it.

    I think this accounts for a lot of the people who run into the back of police cars going 70 mph. Sure, they might be drinking too, but the strobes compounds the situation. There of course will never be any statistics on how many of these crashes are caused by strobe lights.

  14. #14
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    Our led lights are hit and miss, i'm sure they will cause a serious accident eventually. The LED's are great during the day, but blinding at night.
    Last edited by Radar; 06-11-06 at 05:06 PM.
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  15. #15
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    LOL! I want that in my home. Just kidding.
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  16. #16
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    Kinda related to this, we have all Whelen LED's on our new Harley's. The LED's don't bother us, it's the siren systems that get to us.

    We are running dual Federal/Unitrol "Omega 90" siren systems with dual 100 watt speakers. We have to be careful when we kick the sirens in on the "wail" mode because they cause us to briefly lose our equilibrium. And it happens to all of us. At first I was worried that it was just me, but all the guys feel it.

    If we are doing parades or escorts we wear earplugs. Normal stuff, we of course can't wear 'em all the time, so I normally use the "yelp" , "hetro", air horn, or some of the other sounds and try to stay away from the "wail".

    Was a really wierd experience the first few times it happened.

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  17. #17
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    Sheriff, you're right, that'll do it. I now have a blinding headache and flickering retinal images, and it would have been worse if I'd actually looked at it instead of scrolling through.
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  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy
    so I normally use the "yelp" , "hetro", air horn, or some of the other sounds and try to stay away from the "wail".

    So what does the "gay" tone sound like...a lot of grunting and lispy "s" words?

    Seriously...I've never heard of a "hetro" siren tone.

  20. #20
    cajunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x5150x
    So what does the "gay" tone sound like...a lot of grunting and lispy "s" words?

    Seriously...I've never heard of a "hetro" siren tone.
    That's "hetro" "HETRO", not "homo".

    Seriously, I guess you could say it's combination of a super fast yelp and a warble.

    Actually, check this link to the Gall's website. It let's you hear what the different siren sounds are.

    http://www.galls.com/techsupport.html#siren

    Go down to "SVP" and click on "Phaser". That's about the closest I can get to it.

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