Right Driver

What are traffic calming measures?

Traffic calming is where traffic is encouraged to slow down in a specific section of a road. It’s achieved by education, enforcement and engineering. Below you will see multiple examples of traffic calming in use around London.

Education

Education mainly consists of signage and road markings. Some signs can be activated by traffic to warn of excessive speed.

School signage

Notification of schools in the area can be painted on the road or signs can be used.

school road marking

Standard triangular warning signs advising of a school can also be augmented with flashing amber warning lights and restricted speed limits.

school sign

temporary20

Sometimes residents of a neighbourhood will make a sign.

home made sign children - skatepark

Restricted speed areas

The speed can be painted on the road like this.

speed limit road marking

Or speed limits can be signed and accompanied by a painted warning on a different road surface.

20mph zone

Warnings of potential hazards ahead such as a sharp corner might be accompanied by SLOW painted on the road.

slow road marking

Enforcement

Enforcement is the least popular method of traffic calming. It is design to punish those who break the speed limit and is done so through speed cameras and red light cameras.

speed camera 1 red light camera

Engineering

Rumble strips

rumble strip bricks

Gates

Gates can be used at selected times. Beyond the gate you can see that the road is entirely made of a brick surface. As this creates more noise it makes drivers aware of their speed.

gates

Courtesy crossings

A courtesy crossing is not a pedestrian (zebra) crossing, but it is a place where motorists are encouraged to slow down to allow pedestrians to cross. They are always marked with a differing road surface, such as bricks.

courtesy crossing

Narrowings and chicanes

Narrow road feel less safe to drivers and they tend to drive more slowly on them automatically.

This image shows a small narrowing marked by bollards on an already narrow road.

narrowing with signs

This narrowing is near a park and school. It shows tactile paving where pedestrians will cross.

narrowing 2

This narrowing is very near a school.

narrowing 3

The road on this humpback bridge has been artificially narrowed by placing a wide pavement on one side for pedestrians and cyclists.

narrowing over bridge

Narrowings can also be effected by road markings, median strips and giving more room to cyclists

cycle lane median strip

Speed cushions

Speed cushions are low-key traffic calming measures. Most cars have a sufficient wheelbase for the wheels to drive either side of the cushion, but they still encourage drivers to slow down.

speed cushion

Speed tables

A speed table is an elevated portion of the road. They are often used at pedestrian crossings or on corners with heavy pedestrian traffic, but not heavy enough to warrant a controlled crossing. The surface of the speed table is usually varied from the main road surface by using bricks or other coarser finishes.

speed table 2

speed table

Speed bumps/sleeping policemen

Note the two white triangles which visibly warn drivers to slow down. Speed bumps like this are often signposted, too.

speed bump

 

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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