SASKATOON — It's not quite the sound of silence, but residents of Saskatoon might sleep more peacefully now that the city has replaced backup alarms on some of its maintenance vehicles.
The city says the conventional, high-pitched "beep, beep beep" of the alarms can be disturbing — especially at night when a lot of snow-clearing, road-repair and street-sweeping equipment operates.
Noise complaints from residents led the city to put in new "white noise" backup alarms on 17 maintenance vehicles.
The new alarms emit a pulsing "psssht-psssht" sound directed at the rear of the equipment.
Roadways director Goran Saric says the alarms still alert workers and pedestrians, but don't blast the noise in all directions.
He says the city is thinking about retrofitting more equipment with the low-impact alarms.
"Now we can still get our work done safely with less disruption to residents," Saric said in a release Thursday.
"As we gain more experience with the white-noise alarms, we may include the requirement for this type of backup alarm in some of our contracts for winter maintenance work."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2020