The most recent AA Populus research has found that the traffic calming measure, ‘sleeping policemen’ are even more unpopular than roadworks. Sleeping policemen or road humps are universally disliked and even though there have been changes to improve them and make them less of a problem, a huge number of AA members were just as annoyed with them in 2016 as they have ever been.
Speed humps have been reengineered around the UK to give them a less sudden impact on vehicles but 62% of all AA members questioned in March 2016 still highlighted them as a real issue. Roadworks wound up a lesser percentage of 59% and when looking at the strength of the annoyance at each of these issues, it’s clear the speed humps come out on top with 38% of respondents ‘extremely annoyed’ compared with 31% feeling the same about roadworks.
From a business perspective, fleet vehicles, especially larger vehicles, courier vans and passenger vehicles such as buses speed humps can add risk to driving, especially with a cargo.
Speed humps have been seen on the roads since 1983 and there has always been resistance to them. In 2011 there was a government campaign which focused on the slogan ‘Dump the Hump’ which gave councils the option of putting in place 20 mph schemes on residential roads and other common sense measures. The solution was not only more cost effective, it removes the annoyance of the humps but the actual cost of removing humps already on the roads put many councils off and mean they remain as an obstacle for drivers on a daily basis.
Speaking on behalf of AA DriveTech, David Richards Head of Marketing commented: ““Road humps have always been contentious – drivers cursing them and local communities wanting more of them. Humps designed and installed according to official guidance can help calm traffic in proven problem spots to make life better for communities. However, many other traffic calming techniques now exist too, for example properly designed 20mph zones and shared space.”
The risk to cargo and even human life, as a pensioner sadly died in 2014 due to her bus negotiating a speed hump, makes them seem more of a hindrance than a help and AA DriveTech recommend drivers with cargo loads avoid residential humped roads where possible and take care to approach slowly to ensure the best possible safety for their load. These tips are handy but the problem remains and with so many tried, tested and effective alternatives maybe it is time that the humps were gone for good.