How to Get Speeders to Slow Down in Your Neighborhood

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by Megan Wild

If you’re like many homeowners, speeding cars in your neighborhood are one of the banes of your existence. Cars going over the speed limit are dangerous to playing children, pedestrians and family pets. They are also often noisy. Whether speeders are other motorists or delivery trucks, they’re bad news.

But how do you get them to slow down? Don’t worry. Speeders can be encouraged or forced to slow down in many different ways. Some build awareness by reminding drivers that their speed is being monitored. Others build in physical interventions to make vehicles slow down. Here are eight methods you can try.

speeding neighborhoods

Awareness Methods

1. Reminder Signs

The first method is to remind speeders and potential speeders not to go over the speed limit. Sometimes, whether drivers are hurrying to get to work or to make deliveries on time, they may simply be unaware of how fast they’re going. A sign like “Remember the Speed Limit: 20 MPH” might help them look at the speedometer. Or, you might go with the ultimate reasons, such as “Slow Down: Children Playing” or “Safe Driving Saves Lives.”

2. “Your Speed” Signs

These are the digital signs that register a car’s speed as the vehicle approaches. These, combined with a judicious sprinkling of signs giving the speed limit, can also improve driver awareness. It co

uld also make them realize that some entity is monitoring their speed. Many people associate these signs on freeways with increased police presence. So whether these signs are actually associated with more police presence in your area or not, they might strike fear in speeding drivers’ hearts.

3. Neighborhood Watch

If you think there’s a theme here, there is. Speeding drivers will be more apt to slow down if they believe their speed is being monitored. A neighborhood watch group will do that as well. With a neighborhood watch, you and your neighbors meet periodically to discuss the speeding issue. It’s a good idea for some members to go door to door to make sure that everyone knows about it. A Facebook page to discuss the issue is also a good idea. You can also post signs, such as “Streets Patrolled by Neighborhood Watch.”

4. Police Patrol

A police car driving around the neighborhood or sitting in a spot where people often speed will make many drivers slow down immediately. To get a police patrol, of course, you must interface with local police. Most will require a study of the area to see that speeding is in fact a problem. They will also pinpoint the area where speeding most takes place. Depending on local police budgets, they may not be able or willing to have a steady and consistent presence.

5. Video Surveillance

Video surveillance is a tool that will let you know how much of an issue you have. You can install video cameras in the windows of some neighborhood watch members or install them overhead at intersections. It’s possible to capture images of cars and license plates with video surveillance. If there are chronic offenders, video surveillance can be used to alert police. Some neighborhood groups have also tried a “shame them” method, posting video clips on web pages or distributing flyers with images around a neighborhood.

Physical Interventions

speeding neighborhoods

1. Pavement Markings

Pavement markings are methods that can guide drivers and give them information. Using epoxy pavement markings can increase reflectivity and also guide drivers away from driveways and the road’s shoulder. They can show curb areas and give instructions, such as “slow down” or “child play area.” Homeowners can contact their homeowners’ associations or government office to have pavement markings put in their neighborhood. These can  increase reflectivity for night driving and guide cars away from yards and berms.

2. Speed Bumps and Humps

Speed bumps and humps are raised areas that force cars to slow down to drive over them safely. Speed humps have been shown to slow speeds by 22 percent. You will need government authorities to institute one of these in your neighborhood. Data is usually gathered and a plan devised for the optimal site and type in the area. Some local governments require 70 percent of residents in a given area to agree to implementing a speed bump or hump area. Residents are also often assessed for payment.

3. Traffic Circles and Roundabouts

Traffic circles and roundabouts require rebuilding the roadway so that cars are directed in a specific pattern, a circle or roundabout, that require them to slow down. The redoing of the roads and constructions of a circle or roundabout can be quite time-consuming. Like with speed bumps and humps, local government authorities and transportation authorities will need to be involved here. A feasibility study for data and optimal site is usually performed.

Worried about the presence of speeding vehicles in your neighborhood? You’re right to be concerned, as speeders can threaten children, pedestrians and pets. These eight methods are designed to either monitor speeding vehicles or build in physical deterrence methods. All are effective, depending on the situation.