Campaigning for Better and Safer Roads
Of 98 full-width humps measured by TMS for the Review of the
Scheme, 60 have an average height which exceeds the advertised 75 mm. specification.
The Dept. for Transport recommends that 10% is an appropriate on or off gradient
for full width humps. 52 of the 98 have at least one ramp or more, steeper
than 10%. Both of these measurements are critical in terms of safety and can
cause severe damage to vehicles and occupants.
Speed Cushions fared little better if not worse. Of 54
cushions surveyed, 19 exceed the recommended height. On/off ramps should not
exceed 12.5%. 37 have both ramps too steep and a further 15 have one ramp
too steep, making a total of 52 out of 54 having faulty dimensions on just one aspect
of their construction.
Broken pavements and roads
but pristine humps
Another aspect of humps is the rise in pollution. The
Transport Research Laboratory conducted emission testing on roads with 75 metre
hump spacing and found with vehicles travelling at a constant speed, CO emissions
increased by 70-80%, Hydro-carbons by 70-100% and CO2 by 50-60%. The percentages
would have increased by up to 200% had the more realistic scenario of braking and
accelerating for humps been tested as well, but the more realistic pollution figures
could have designated every humps scheme as a serious danger to residents’ health.
More grooves and marks
The speed reduction policies of the last dozen years have been
based on speeding causing a third of all road deaths. Now, the Department
for Transport has finally admitted that it can't back it up from real evidence as
5% is nearer the mark than 33%.
When the authorities should have been spending their efforts targeting a small number
of reckless drivers travelling excessively fast in dangerous circumstances, they
have instead been led by the one third fallacy to criminalise normal progress and
to prosecute safe and reasonable behaviour. (Association of British Drivers)
It is natural to focus on the next hump, rather than notice
the child or pedestrian running into the road without looking, which accounted for
9% of all RC2005 accidents. It has been researched elsewhere, (not
RC2005), that 85% of pedestrians involved in an accident have admitted they ran/walked
into the road without looking.
Recent information released due to the use of the FoI Act 2000,
states that the 7 Gatso cameras in Great Wyrley which were erected at a cost of
£350,000, (with yearly maintenance costs of £7,000 making a total of £385,000),
reduced average traffic speeds from 30mph to 29mph through the village. This
gave a total reduction in speed of 1mph. It is also claimed this 1mph reduction
in speed gave a 63% reduction in KSI figures.
Recently a high visibility SLOW
road safety sign has been removed from the approach to a single-file bridge in Great
Wyrley, making the stretch of road far more hazardous. The precarious and
polished states of the road surface is clearly visible on the following pictures.
Polished road surface
Travelwise, (Bus Owners Club),
said, ‘Humps can have a nasty impact on disabled, elderly or frail people, and those
with serious back or neck problems’. When the Great Wyrley humps were being
planned by Safer Routes to School were these well known problems discussed:
Disabled Children NO
Disabled Residents NO
Elderly or Frail NO
Back/Neck problems NO
Impact on ambulances NO
As the humps have failed, they will
try new pairs of 'moveable humps' to enforce the 20 Zone.
New style humps
'If you break down the 1,900 collisions we have each year,
only 3% involve cars that are exceeding the speed limit. Just 60 accidents
per year involve vehicles exceeding the speed limit. Speed may be a factor
in the background but the actual cause of the accident invariably is drink-driving
or drug-driving. In 40 per cent of fatal road accidents in this area one or
more of the people involved have drugs in their system’. (Chief Constable
of Durham quoted in the Daily Telegraph, 7th December 2003).
Gotcha! Caught on Camera. Three for the price of one, there was a speed
gun in the back window of the van. A34 near Great Wyrley.