Las Vegas couple designs improved safety vest for road workers and police | New


LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – A couple from Las Vegas hope to change the way construction workers dress on the job.

They invented a one-of-a-kind safety vest that could make it easier for drivers to spot road crews, before it’s too late.

As the temperatures warm up, you’ve probably seen more orange cones and flashing signs appear on the valley roads.

“We had prototypes that we let the builders use on the road,” Megan Collins said.

Experts in the construction industry, Tom Mueller and Collins founded Solar LED Safety Products. They created a new type of vest to keep workers safe.

“It was a process of gluing and putting on a material that we thought could create the idea we wanted,” Collins said.

So after more than eight years, five prototypes and three patents, they settled on a final design.

“Just making is a whole new animal for us, so it’s been a lot of learning,” Collins said.

Their vest includes flashing lights, which can help drivers spot them faster, especially at night. At present, the typical vest only has reflectors.

“So a regular vest requires light to hit the reflective material and that doesn’t always happen right away,” Collins said. “So if someone comes around a bend, they won’t see this reflective material until the light hits them.”

Their battery operated vest is powered by the sun.

“It has four solar panels that charge 16 lights that flash 60 times a minute for 48 hours,” Collins said. “They can be seen at 2800 feet at night.”

The final product is already in the hands of several agencies in the valley.

“LVCVA, we’re going to come out in the city of Las Vegas, NDOT is going to try it,” Collins said.

NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said they were still looking for ways to reduce fatalities in work areas.

“They are up about 2% nationally, year on year – road workers are being killed in work areas,” he said. “They are just doing their job to provide for their families and return home alive. It shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Now this Vegas couple is hoping their invention will help reverse those numbers.

“If we can stop just 2%, 1% that will be fine,” Mueller said. “The main thing is to bring you back to your parents, your family, your loved ones.”

Then they work on new styles, including a shorter version, suitable for law enforcement.

“It will allow them to wear it and they will still be able to access their belt, gun and everything,” Collins said. “Saving lives is our passion. We look forward to spreading this awareness on the roads.

The NDOT also wishes to remind drivers that fines for speeding are doubled in work zones. National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 8-12.

The event is in its 20th year and is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.

NDOT is also releasing a mobile truck with what is called an impact continuator. Illia said it’s like a moving collision zone that functions as a guardrail to protect workers.

Two dozen Nevada Department of Transportation employees have been killed in the line of duty since 1948. The last employee to die in the line of duty was Ron Raiche Jr., who was struck and killed by a driver inattentive on March 30, 2015, while repairing pavement cracking on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain.

For more information on raising awareness of National Work Zones, visit:

And for more information on solar LED safety products, visit:

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