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  • SPEED HUMPS FOUR HILLS | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    SPEED HUMPS - FOUR HILLS STUDY The Four Hills Speed Hump Study ​ In 2007 Michael J. Cunneen published a study of the impact of speed humps in the Four Hills area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The full report is available below. One of the most interesting aspects of this report is that it includes one of the largest studies of the accident figures before and after the installation of speed humps in 93 street sections in Albuquerque. Over 1,100 accidents had occurred in these streets in the two years before and after speed hump installation. From this large sample, it was found that the aggregate accident rate for all accidents and for injury accidents had declined between 6-7%. But as the report suggests that the overall trend accident rate reduction in New Mexico was 1.7% per year, the net benefit allowing for that "control group" is therefore 6.8% less the 3.4% (over 2 years) giving a net benefit of only 3.4%. ​ This is obviously much less than the claims made by many people for the effectiveness of speed humps at reducing accidents. In addition the report demonstrates that the fatal accidents saved by speed humps are likely to be less than the increase in deaths caused by delays to emergency service vehicles. ​ A summary of the report is given below.. ​ The full report is contained in FourHillsReport and in FourHillTechAppx . ​ Note there are a few points worth making on this report, as even the 3.4% improvement is questionable. The report data is based on 2 years before and after as that was all the data that was available but that is a relatively short period. In the UK it is normal to use 3 years before and after as the normal basis for comparison. The reason is because in the first year after making any changes to a road layout, the accidents tend to fall. When drivers, who may only use the road occasionally, notice it has changed, they take extra care and drive more slowly. This effect wears off after a few months, but it has a big impact on the first year post the change. ​ Another problem is that it is very common for other changes to be made when humps are installed - for example improved signage (even extra warning signs), repainted road markings, new kerb alignments, etc. So the alleged benefit of 3.4% could be due to other reasons - and signs alone can have that size of effect. ​ A third possible explanation is a "Hawthorne" effect known from industrial physchology, where if you experiment on humans and suggest there will be a benefit, then you will end up seeing one. Unfortunately human behaviour, and reporting of accidents, is subject to unconscious biases that distort the results. ​ Summary of Four Hills Speed Hump Study This was an independent study commissioned by the City Council of Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2007 to investigate installed the efficacy of speed humps installed along two major streets and to recommend alternatives. The neighborhood containing the speed humps was Four Hills Village, an outlying suburban, residential district at the city’s southeast corner. The City Counselor for the neighborhood was Don Harris and the consultant retained was Michael J. Cunneen. ​ The study found little need for the speed humps as traffic accidents in the affected roadway sections had been declining and averaged only 0.5 accidents per year since 2001. Less than 20% of the traffic 1990-2005 accidents involved injuries, all of them minor while less than 20% involved either “excessive speed” or speed “too fast for conditions” as one of the highest contributing factors causing the accidents. The accidents which had occurred were predominantly concentrated in two curve sections. ​ The study also examined speed hump results generally in Albuquerque, focusing on 93 street sections on which over 1,100 accidents had occurred in two years before and after speed hump installation. From this large sample, it was found that the aggregate accident rate for all accidents and for injury accidents had declined between 6-7%. Overall, volumes on streets with speed humps declined 7.5% as drivers diverted to other routes while average speeds declined about 11.5%. The small sample of pedestrian accidents actually rose from 6 to 10. Accident rates only declined on a minority of streets; in most cases they remained the same or increased slightly. A high proportion of speed humps had been installed where average speeds were only 25 miles per hour or less. Another major finding, drawn from City data covering all speed hump installations, was made significant declines in 85th percentile speeds tended to occur only where “before” speeds were above 30 miles per hour. Below 27 miles per hour, City data showed these speeds actually had increased after humps were installed. ​ Even assuming a 10% decrease in accidents attributable to speed humps, the study found that over 50 years only 3.4 injuries and 0.024 deaths would likely be prevented by the humps. On the other hand, delays to emergency service vehicles, even at only four seconds per speed hump, were estimated to cause several additional fatalities due to cardiac arrest over 50 years, many times higher than the lives that might be saved by the speed humps. This is because cardiac arrest requires rapid treatment; the likelihood of survival diminishes rapidly after five minutes and a delay of even a fraction of a minute significantly decreases the chances of surviving. ​ The consultant recommended removing most of the speed humps, retaining a few in the two sections where most accidents had occurred. He further recommended the use of optical speed bars and the installation of median islands and bulb-outs (neckdowns or chokers) to slow traffic without impeding emergency vehicle movement. Re-striping and better delineation at curves were recommended as well. In examining City speed data, the consultant found that re-striping had caused a slight decline in speed even where traffic was already moving at about the speed limit. He also found a positive “shadow effect” that speed humps had up to 3,300 feet away, in slowing traffic. City speed surveys showed that after speed hump installation, speeds dropped 2-11% at sites located 1,500 to 3,500 feet away from the nearest speed hump. This suggested that spacing between humps need not be so close and that fewer humps were necessary. Guidelines were recommended that would ban speed humps where volumes are less than 500 vehicles a day or greater than 3,500 vehicles a day or on collector or primary emergency response routes or where 85th percentile speeds do not exceed 30 miles per hour. ​ Postscript: On the 18 September 2007 a bill was passed by Albuquerque City Council with a unanimous vote to implement the recommendations contained in the report mentioned above. Back to Speed Humps Main Page ​ ​

  • SPEED HUMPS AND AMBULANCES | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    SPEED HUMPS AND AMBULANCES The following articles were ones published by BBRAG on the problems caused to ambulances by Speed Humps. ​ Patients Killed by Speed Humps (Article published in April 2003) The Chairman of the London Ambulance Service, Sigurd Reinton, recently claimed that speed humps are killing hundreds of Londoners by delaying 999 crews. He said “For every life saved through traffic calming, more are lost because of ambulance delays.” There are about 8,000 heart attack victims in London every year, and London has a particularly poor survival rate. One reason is no doubt because even a small delay increases the death rate enormously. For example 90% of victims survive if treated within 2 minutes, but it falls to 10% if treatment is delayed for 6 minutes. So for every additional minute of delay caused, up to an extra 800 victims of cardiac arrest could die. This compares with a total of 300 people who die from traffic accidents. ​ Mr Reinton complained that the increasing number of anti-car measures such as speed humps, road closures, road narrowing and throttle points caused significant delays in responding to emergencies. Ambulances had to go even slower if carrying a critically ill patient. ​ Note that Kevin Knight, who is responsible for local London Ambulance services, also spoke against speed bumps using the same arguments at the recent council Environment Portfolio holders meeting. He said they were now meeting the government target of reaching 75% of life threatening calls within 8 minutes (Editor: which is not good enough to save most heart attack victims - see above), but it was getting more and more difficult to do so and even a few seconds delay could impact the chance of survival for heart attack victims. Traffic calming features caused significant delays - for example 50% of the ambulances from one station would have had to go through the proposed Leesons Hill “throttle” where there would be queuing traffic. ​ Research in the USA supports these claims. One report from Boulder, Colorado suggests that for every life saved by traffic calming, as many as 85 people may die because emergency vehicles are delayed. It found response times are typically extended by 14% by speed-reduction measures. Another study conducted by the fire department in Austin, Texas showed an increase in the travel time of ambulances when transporting victims of up to 100%. ​ Note that Kathleen Calongne who lives in Boulder, Colorado has produced a note that gives more details on the opposition to speed humps in the USA and includes detail references to the above mentioned research - see Speed-Humps-USA . P.S. The full submission by Sigurd Reinton to the Greater London Assembly Speed Hump Inquiry in early 2004 can be seen at LAS-Report Speed Humps and Ambulances (Article Published in April 2004) One of the people who gave evidence to the recent GLA Speed Hump Inquiry was Paramedic Mark Belchamber who works for the London Ambulance Service (LAS). His evidence criticised the problems they cause ambulance staff. In fact he did a study of such problems as a degree thesis which is well worth reading. It can be read on the internet here. The study main consisted of asking 36 paramedics from different parts of the country for their experiences, and their response to humps. For example, 66% would deviate to avoid humps even when on emergency calls, and half of them were willing to add 2.5 minutes to the response time as a result. ​ 88% of paramedics felt that speed humps interfered with CPR or other medical procedures. All respondents considered that a number of patient conditions were affected detrimentally by speed humps, particularly spinal or back injuries, and fractures generally. ​ In summary, it was clear that ambulance staff take a very dim view of the impact of speed humps on their ability to do their job, and that there are negative implications for patients. ​ Speed Humps and Ambulances (Article Published in October 2004) TeLeSCoPe is the glossy newsletter produced by the London Safety Camera Partnership (Editor: I think they spell it that way so you slow down when reading it). Their latest edition contained an interesting interview with Chris Hartley-Sharpe who is the Ambulance Operations Manager for the London Ambulance Service (LAS) based at Waterloo. ​ He seemed to favour speed cameras as “Road humps cause us problems because they obstruct the passage of ambulances, increasing the time it takes for medical help to reach seriously ill or injured patients, exacerbating the discomfort of patients with spinal injuries, sometimes making it impossible for paramedics to give life-saving treatment to patients when on the move, and damaging our vehicles.”. This is a clear and succinct summary of the views of many ambulance staff. When asked to describe himself in three words, he said “Road hump sceptic”. ​ Back to Speed Humps Main Page

  • DARTFORD CROSSING TOLLS CAMPAIGN | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    DARTFORD CROSSING TOLLS CAMPAIGN This page covers the campaign against tolls on the Dartford Thames River Crossing and the use of a “free-flow” toll system relying solely on cameras. Although the opposition was unsuccessful, such systems are likely to be extended to other bridges/tunnels and problems with non-payment (including evasion by foreign drivers) persist. ​ Important note: if you have come to this page because you wish to pay the fee, please go here for details of how to pay the charge: . But you may care to read why we opposed the charge and the payment system below. In January 2013 a press release was issued on this subject which contained the following statements: ​ Government to Raise £7bn from the Dartford Crossing The Highways Agency is likely to raise a net £7 billion for Government coffers from road users over 25 years by the introduction of “free-flow” charging at the Dartford Crossing. Even after the reduction in journey times which is a potential benefit to road users, the net cost to them is at least £5.5 billion over the same period. ​ That ignores the inconvenience that will be caused to road users by having to pay the charge, the high risk of unknowingly incurring a £35 penalty charge by forgetting to pay and the general hassle involved in using such a system (the consultation document suggests over 15,000 such events per day of “non-compliance”, i.e. penalty charges needing to be issued). If the toll booths were simply removed, to reduce the congestion they cause, then the benefits to road users would be real instead of imaginary. ​ This proposal is backed up by a consultation document which is grossly misleading in the financial analysis and implications of the proposals. It also suggests that the tolls are required to pay for more river crossings when the net revenue being raised would pay for a new crossing in as little as two years. ​ We suggest that this proposal is simply another tax raising measure from the Government and has nothing to do with improving the road system or reducing congestion as claimed. ​ We encourage all road users to oppose this measure which may set a precedent for other road charging schemes (which the Government clearly has in mind). ​ More Information Note that the outcome of the new system was as expected in that an enormous number of people are now fined for not paying the toll simply because they do not know how to, are not aware they have to pay, or simply forget. ​ It has reduced congestion at the crossing to some extent, but not as much as one might have hoped. ​ Back to Campaigns

  • AGAINST MTS | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE MAYOR'S TRANSPORT STRATEGY London Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the ULEZ - A Blatant Attack on Motorists - Make Sure You Object In 2016 Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on a manifesto pledging to tackle congestion through harmless-sounding measures like encouraging car clubs and managing road works. He also promised to maintain the Congestion Charge at its current level. He would not have got elected if he had come out with blatantly anti-motorist measures. However, in his Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS), his implementation of Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and support for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) he has done precisely that. With the Covid-19 epidemic we are now seeing emergency measures taken to close roads under the euphemistic titles of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Mini-Holllands and Healthy Neighbourhoods in many London boroughs. These have been supported by central Government also with funding coming from them and TfL. But there is very strong opposition from local residents because of the massive inconvenience caused with higher traffic congestion, longer journey times and difficulties for people who cannot cycle or walk far. Such closures are all part of the MTS, and are promoted by Transport for London (TfL). See this web page for more information on LTNs: London-Road-Closures Road closures such as those in Lewisham - see photo above and this link to our local campaign: Lewisham , are mainly supported by those who wish to stop usage of vehicles altogether - no more cars, delivery vans, or people providing local services. The MTS plans looked for "new ways of paying for road use", hinting at pay-per-mile road pricing. This could see the Congestion Charge extended across Greater London, with local boroughs asked to use it as a blunt traffic reduction measure. Alternatively, they could be asked to bring in “Workplace Parking Levies” - effectively a tax on going to work. The Mayor’s ULEZ schemes are simply a way to raise taxes on vehicle users justified by claims about a public health crisis from air pollution that are simply false. There is no public health crisis and the ULEZ charges will not make a major impact on air pollution. Britain's drivers pay five times over to use the roads. Yet the Mayor feels that Londoners “pay too little”, without giving any figures to support this. He alleges that public transport fare payers subsidise motorists which is simply wrong – the reverse is the case as public transport is massively subsidised out of public taxation while motorists pay more than the costs of maintaining the roads. It is particularly worrying that the Mayor wants to take over collection of VED (“road tax”) and set the rates which would provide another way for the Mayor to extract money from car drivers on top of congestion charging and the ULEZ. He seeks to discourage car ownership, using a reduction in the availability of private parking and kerb side parking spaces with discriminatory parking charges against some vehicles. Even Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs – minicabs) come under attack with proposals to limit their numbers and increase their costs by dropping their exemption from the congestion charge. He proposes reallocating road space away from drivers, even though the reduction in space has been a key factor in increasing congestion. He even hints at car parking at stations being made less convenient or spaces being removed. In summary, the Mayor makes it plain that he intends to reduce car use in favour of public transport, cycling and walking by penalising motorists and making it more expensive for you to own and drive a car. The private motorist could become a vanishing species in London if the Mayor has his way, or your costs for driving will skyrocket. These proposals give the Mayor the ability to build a financial empire and dictate the lives of Londoners much more extensively than previously. The MTS is yet another missed opportunity to develop an integrated transport strategy with an improved road network in London. It is not too late to tell the Mayor what you think and get him to change his mind. Use this web page to send a message to the Mayor stating you object to the Mayor's Transport Strategy and the ULEZ. Or send a letter addressed to: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London using this address: City Hall, Kamal Chunchie Way, London, E16 1ZE - just mention the Mayor's Transport Strategy or ULEZ and why you are objecting. MAKE SURE YOU OBJECT Please also register your support for our campaign and for further news on the subject by clicking on this link: MTS-Updates The Ultra Low Emission Zone The ULEZ is a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. It will mean millions of Londoners being charged £12.50 per day to use a vehicle, or force them to buy a new one. Go to this web page for more information on that and how it is being used to generate enormous new taxes: Environment This is a very good article by James Hockney on why the ULEZ is unnecessary: Hockney-Article If you have any questions on this issue, contact Roger Lawson - see the Contact page. We also need volunteers to help with this campaign. If you can assist in any way, please call 020-8295-0378 or use the Contact page to send an email. More Information Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS): Our responses to the MTS consultation were given in this document: MTS-Responses Some of the comments received from the public on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and ULEZ are present on this web page: MTS-Comments ​ ​ Back to Campaigns ​ ​

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