Local inventors Dr. Bert Burke and his wife Michaela “Mickey” Burke have developed technology that has been patented. The Move Over Slow Drivers technology is designed to record and report data on drivers causing dangerous driving conditions. “It will minimize accidents, injuries and even deaths,” Dr. Burke said.
Bertram Burke is like a rolling stone — he gathers no moss. The Black Diamond resident has a laundry list of past careers and accomplishments including working as a psychoanalyst with a 21-year practice in Chatham, New Jersey, and a consultant to top corporate executives, listening and learning all the while.
“I got an MBA from listening,” he said. “I had appeal to the corporations, and I was an entrepreneur.”
In his role as consultant, he developed a number of popular programs, one of which was the Employee Assistance Program, which helps employees with problems that could impact their job performance, health or mental and emotional well-being. His model was the second one in the country to be developed and used.
Then, he became an inventor and started his business — Burke Inventing and Consulting — coming up with the idea for gift cards, easy ways to donate or save at the point of sale and a system that would protect bridges from being damaged by salt and chemicals used to de-ice roads in winter.
Burke said he invents through observation: “I look for problems. I love problems. That is where the opportunity is, and if you can think of a solution, then there is demand.”
That is how he hopes things will play out with his latest invention, the Move Over Slow Drivers device, which uses proximity sensors on a car in an attempt to discourage drivers from blocking passing lanes and help municipalities to collect fines without law enforcement officers having to be present.
“In 50 states, the law says stay to the right unless you are going to pass,” Burke said. “If someone is being passed on the right, they are blocking traffic.”
Using technology created from the combination of onboard diagnostic systems and GPS, the device records when sensors detect your car is passing another car on the right and creates a videotape of the other car’s information. The device automatically calls a clearinghouse to report the license plate number of the slower-moving vehicle.
The clearinghouse then provides the data to the municipal courts where the incident happened, and a judge can determine if a ticket will be issued.
“It provides enough evidence for a court to do something about it,” he said. “Your car will automatically report them. You will know if that person got a citation or a warning, because you will get a report on the outcome.”
Burke expects his customers will be drivers who want this kind of equipment, as well as police, insurance companies and courts that are interested in the data this device provides. The device is similar to the one used in many municipalities that detects and reports cars that run red lights.
“We are saying there is a new sheriff in town, because you have a chance to report these drivers,” Burke said. “Why get into road rage? We are an assist that makes cars safer and saves lives.”
The device, he said, will be done at a very low cost. While drivers themselves will not make money from the information, they will be submitting data through their cars to make roads safer.
“I don’t do it for the money,” Burke said. “I just love finding problems, and I want to improve things.”
Article Orginally posted: December, 2016. Citrus County Chronicles