In this blog, firstly I want to think why we use traffic calming methods.
I can think of the need to reduce speed in high-risk areas such as shopping areas or schools. As we reduce the speed the chances of a pedestrian surviving an accident is greatly increased. As a by-product, the noise of vehicles and the volume of traffic can be reduced. When this has been achieved there, should be a reduce chance of accidents which is always a good thing.
Now to look at the different types of traffic calming methods
To start with the speed limit can be reduced to 20mph. This I have seen in market places and school Zones. Where this is introduced there will be road signs, unfortunately, this is not always enough. So, to encourage drivers to slow down there can be vehicle activated speed warning signs
The speed humps come in two forms a sleeping policeman or road width hump or a cushion. The sleeping policeman method came first but it was found that this caused problems for the emergency service vehicles especially ambulances to negotiate with passengers on board. Thus, the traffic cushion was developed which allowed an ambulance or fire engine to negotiate the bump without causing problems for the passengers or loads.
Along with speed humps narrowing the road so only one vehicle can negotiate the road at a time. This can reduce the overall speed on a given road by using a chicane method of blocking the road.
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Other Raised objects on the road to reduce speed
There can be other raised objects in the road such as raised pedestrian crossing. This slows the traffic down and helps the old and disabled pedestrian cross the road more easily. Another method is the use of mini roundabouts at junctions they tend to help the flow of traffic but can also help traffic from different small roads join the normal flow of traffic.
School safety zones are a new form of traffic calming for around schools. It is not in the Highway Code yet so I will explain how they work. The yellow zig zags create where the Safety Zone is during the school hours there is aa recommended speed limit of 20 mph and the recommendation of no parking during that time. Beware some councils have set up local regulations that can be enforced local parking wardens