Not only do they provide a veritable obstacle course on the way to and from work, the school run or the supermarket, they can do some serious wear and tear to your vehicle. In more extreme cases, they can slow emergency vehicles down affecting the amount of time taken to get to an incident, casualty or fire.
However, there is clearly a need for them to be there; be that to stop speeding in residential areas or to stop heavy traffic flow from badly congested main roads from cutting through.
This month’s challenge, then, is to come up with a better method of traffic calming. Something that causes the least disruption to those of us who abide by the Highway Code, but stops reckless drivers from being able to speed through suburban roads, car parks and industrial estates.
Think about what kind of technologies could be employed in your more efficient traffic calming method, perhaps it’s a simply a materials selection issue, or a bit of both? Whichever way you go with your design, try to avoid a design that would destroy the vehicle or hurt its occupants!
The idea we have in mind will be revealed in the June issue of Eureka! Until then see what you can come up with. Submit ideas by leaving a comment on the Coffee Time Challenge section of the Eureka! website or by emailing the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our solution to the problem of excessive traffic calming measures in suburban roads, industrial estates and car parks which can damage shock absorbers and suspensions as well as cause discomfort to disabled drivers/passengers comes from a Spanish company, Badennova S.L.
Its Intelligent Speed Bumps (BIV) yield to cars that are driven at a moderate speed, but harden to create an obstacle when they are impacted by force, making drivers reduce their speed.
The fully biodegradable non-Newtonian fluid is stored inside an ultra-tough, recyclable plastic covering that is designed to be highly resistant to wear, aging, vandalism and unfavourable weather conditions. Each bump comes as a single entity that requires bolting on to existing tarmac, reducing the need to dig up the road to install them. However, for the moment, it is only available for indoor use in parking garages and other covered areas.