Three Strategies To Increase Traffic Safety in Your Town

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For all communities, road safety is a critical concern. After all, bad roads and bad drivers make life bad for residents and businesses alike. A sizable portion of any municipal budget is spent on ensuring that traffic flows through the area as smoothly as possible. There are many techniques towns can use to minimize risks and encourage safe streets.

Investment in Safety Features

Poor road design presents innate problems. When building new roads or upgrading old ones, adding certain physical features can alleviate the threat of future accidents. The creation of separate bike lanes and pedestrian crossings on city streets can protect these groups from being injured by speeding cars.

On major roads, drivers can be protected from hard crashes by the placement of guardrails on the roadsides and barriers in the median to separate opposing lanes of traffic. As a less costly measure, distracted drivers may benefit from the placement of tactile or audible cues such as speed bumps or rumble strips to stop them from speeding or straying off-road. In heavily congested places like emergency areas or construction zones, employing temporary rumble strips can ease bottlenecks by sharply directing drivers toward an alternate route.

Setting Proper Speed Limits

Speeding by drivers is one of the most common causes of traffic collisions. Common sense shows that residential streets which are used by more pedestrians and bicyclists (many of whom are children) should not be made to handle the same speeds as major highways. Therefore, many urban streets have low speed limits of 25-30 miles per hour, and as low as 15 miles per hour in construction and school zones.

Many jurisdictions are instituting new speed limits based on international Vision Zero initiatives. Once the speed limits have been established, they must be rigorously enforced. This can be done using cameras, live officers, or both.

Passing Laws To Protect People

Local law enforcement can go beyond matters of speeding. Municipal ordinances for drivers can outlaw open containers of alcohol, require the wearing of seat belts, restrict cell phone usage, or impose a nighttime curfew for teenage drivers. Similar laws may exist for cyclists, who can also be compelled to wear a helmet. For pedestrians, jaywalking may be banned for their own protection.

Traffic hazards can cause untold amounts of trouble. Whether you are part of a local council or just a concerned citizen, there are numerous approaches you can consider to curb dangerous driving in your neighborhood.