Focus on Community Road Safety

Focus on Community Road Safety

Too often, speeding in the community endangers homeowners and guests, especially children. Reducing traffic speed on community roads is key to ensuring a safe environment. So, before tragedy strikes, explore whether “traffic calmers”—also known as pavement modifications—are an option for your community. Traffic calmers are physical changes made to a road, which prevent cars from speeding. These changes include speed bumps, speed humps, and speed ridges (also known as rumble strips). Speed bumps are sudden narrow elevations that cross a road. Speed humps are like speed bumps, but are more gradual rises in the road. Speed ridges are indentations in the road that cause a distinct noise when a car travels over them.

Wise use of traffic calmers can reduce accidents in a community. But it’s important to choose the right type of traffic calmer for your needs. You may even need to install more than one type of traffic calmer. Cars don’t slow down as much for speed humps and speed ridges as they do for speed bumps, so speed bumps may be more effective in reducing car accidents.

Once you determine the traffic calmers that you’ll use, you should alert members and guests to their placement. An unwary motorist could wreck his car’s wheel alignment if he takes a speed bump too fast. And both pedestrians and bicyclists could fall if they don’t notice a speed bump in their path.

One way to minimize these incidents is to place warning signs by each traffic calmer. If several speed bumps are bunched together, one sign is enough. The sign should say “Speed Bump” or “Slow.”

There should also be posted signs that set a low speed limit near all traffic calmers. This, too, will alert pedestrians and drivers to the presence of traffic calmers. If the association chooses an uncommon number for its speed limit, such as 12 miles per hour or 13 miles per hour, it’s more likely to get attention.

Consider painting the speed bumps a bright color so they have maximum visibility, but be prepared that there might be pushback from some members who think that interferes with the aesthetic of the area where the traffic calmers have been installed.