Route 66 Adds Singing Road as Speeding Deterrent

VIDEO: Motorists will only hear "America the Beautiful" along a portion of the highway in New Mexico if they drive 45 mph.
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Drivers in New Mexico are in for a musical treat. They'll be serenaded to "America the Beautiful" on Route 66.

"It's right here in New Mexico, one of few such roads that exist in the world," New Mexico Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melissa Dosher told ABC News today.

But drivers can only hear the song if they go the posted speed limit of 45 mph.

"The road not only entertains but uses 'rumble strips' to play music and prevent motorists from speeding or falling asleep at the wheel," Dosher said. "It is a great safety trick as it forces people to stick to the speed limit if they want to hear the song."

Added New Mexico Department of Transportation Secretary Tom Church in a statement: "Safety is our number one priority. Speeding is a factor in too many vehicle crashes in New Mexico. The goal of this experiment is to change driver behavior in a fun way by giving them a reward if they obey the speed limit."

(Photo Credit: KOAT)

New Mexico's Singing Road is an experiment by the National Geographic Channel as part of its new series "Crowd Control" that premieres next month.

"'Crowd Control' takes to the streets with innovative experiments designed to test and curate social behavior, revealing how and why we behave as we do," Julie Frazier of the National Geographic Channel told ABC News via email.

"We will be releasing footage and additional information closer to the episodes air date."

The Singing Road was constructed by Sand Bar Construction on old Route 66, just west of Tijeras and east of Albuquerque. A mathematician from Tigress Productions created the attraction for the National Geographic Channel series.

"They started work on Monday and finished on Tuesday," Dosher said. "It's remarkable the speed in which they finished it."

Besides safety, the New Mexico Department of Tourism acknowledges an added value to the project.

"This is such a fun and creative way to encourage motorists to slow down and see more of our beautiful state, and it's wonderful that National Geographic will be here to highlight the process," New Mexico Department of Tourism Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson said in a statement.

DOT spokeswoman Dosher said, "It is such a promising project. I think it will develop into a great tourist attraction."

(Photo Credit: KOAT)

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