You know those grooves carved intermittently into the sides of highway roads? The ones that alert you with a loud noise if you run over them, so you know you're veering outside the painted lines? They're called "rumble strips," and a behavioral change expert has found an inventive new use for them.

Head over to New Mexico and take a drive down Route 66. There, the road will sing "America the Beautiful" to you. The rumble strips on this stretch of road have been carved into the road to create specific intervals and pitches when your tires run over them. The only catch is that you have to drive at 45 miles per hour for it to happen.

Okay, so it's cool. But why do this?

It's part of a TV special coming in November to National Geographic Channel, called Crowd Control. Host Daniel Pink, the previously mentioned behavioral change expert, cooked up the idea as a way to fight speeding. His thinking was that instead of punishing those who break the law, why not reward those who abide by it? NatGeo footed the bill, and with the permission of New Mexico's Department of Transportation and some help from science, the TV show went to work.

The video above shows how the "singing" sounds when you drive over it. Here's another.

New Mexico seems pretty thrilled about having a unique new claim to fame. It's not hard to imagine the singing road on Route 66 even contributing to tourism to some degree.

It's worth mentioning that this stretch of Route 66 is not the world's first singing road. It's something like the fifth, with a few others already existing in other parts of the world.

If you'd like to visit the singing road yourself, you'll find it just east of Albuquerque at 364 Highway 66 East, in the eastbound lane towards the small town of Tijeras. To be even more specific, GPS users can find it at approximately 35.068949, -106.419499.

Photo: Randy Heinitz 

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