Traffic Management – How Speed Bumps Could Help Your Business Save Lives

In fact, a Department for Transport study undertaken in 2000 shows that simple traffic management like reducing road speed to 30mph in built-up areas can reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed in traffic accidents on village roads by 50%. That same speed reduction (to 30mph) results in a drop of collisions involving children by 40% and in accidents involving an automobile and a child cyclist by 51%. Because of this study and others like it, villages and the owners of private roads and residential developments have installed traffic management methods ranging from posted signs to speed humps. Still, less than one in five local authorities have implemented or plan to implement methods of speed reduction. Why would local authorities ignore such a potent life-saving tool 

There are a number of reasons for it, but the biggest of them is the strong feeling most people have against the use of speed humps. If there is one issue that has created a united front across the political spectrum, it’s speed humps. Over the last few years, everyone from novelist Beryl Bainbridge to Labour MP John Mann have spoken out – and very vocally – against the so-called ‘sleeping policemen’. Yet speed bumps are only one of many different traffic management measures that can be taken to reduce speeds to a reasonable 30mph or less. traffic management

Traffic management includes traffic calming (the use of roadway constructions to organically slow traffic), markings and signals, and physical patrolling. Signs, markings and signals all have varying effects on the speed of traffic. Of these, traffic signals are the most effective, as they manage traffic directly. Signage and street markings have some effect on traffic speed, though much of the effect is lost over time. When traffic calming methods like speed bumps, closures and traffic roundabouts are introduced, though, automobile speeds are reduced permanently. Traffic calming methods include vertical deflections, horizontal shifts, roadway narrowing and closures. Each affects traffic in different ways, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

Vertical deflections are those least liked by the public. They include any road construction that raises the surface of the road – speed humps, raised intersections, rumble strips and speed tables are examples. There are many innovations on speed humps, including an ‘intelligent’ hump that senses the speed of the oncoming vehicle and deflates itself if the speed is low enough to pass over it without jolting.

Horizontal shifts include traffic circles and chicanes that create s-shaped pathways between curbs and barriers.

Roadway narrowing controls traffic by diverting traffic from one lane to another, or by creating a narrower lane for traffic to pass. The methods used include widening walk paths and adding cyclist lanes to existing roadways.

Closures block traffic from cutting through intersections. Closures are typically only used after all other methods have failed to slow traffic through a neighborhood.

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