Sunday, 20 October 2013

Got the Hump Again

No, I'm not feeling miserable, I've just got back from town in my little car and feel really glad I haven't got a bad back or something after tackling all the road humps on the way.
   I've always been dubious about the effectiveness of these traffic calming devices and I suppose they do work to some extent, but last weekend I had the luxury of driving around in a newer, sturdier car than my normal little Smart and found I hardly had to slow down at all to negotiate the humps I normally crawl over at about 5 MPH. Yes, FIVE MPH. If I go any faster than that I feel like the suspension will collapse and the tyres burst. The trouble with a very short wheel base car is that no sooner have the front wheels mounted the hump then the back follow. I feel like I need a  rear window sticker apologising to anyone behind me for slowing down so much but it really is necessary if I want to keep my spine intact and all my teeth.
   I try my hardest to stick to speed restrictions. Won't say I always manage but I don't intentionally go out to drive faster than I should. The people who do do that are usually in bigger, faster cars. The sort of cars that can fly over a speed hump at 40 MPH without even noticing there was a hump there.
So what is the point?
   My other concern is the state some of these humps get into. Many seem to lose the white arrows that warn you they are there which can be very dangerous when it is dark and wet. If you don't know the road they suddenly appear before you can slow down. As the humps get older the areas around them seem to get more pot holes and general deterioration than other parts of the road. Just lately new types of humps have appeared near me that are just bolted onto the road surface, or at least that is what it looks like. They are narrow so vans and  buses can pass over them, but they are quite fierce on a small car. More worryingly, I have seem some that look as though they are starting to come away from the road. AND the middles of some seem to have scratch marks which would indicate some cars are not getting a good clearance over them.
   These sort of measures are fine for private drives but it's time they were removed from general use. Regrettably they have been taken up in other countries too. So my search for a hump free route extends even when I go away.
    There must be better ways of slowing traffic. More indication of what the speed limit should be, more of the devices that flash at you if you are going too fast or those that tell you what speed you are doing. Give me a speed camera any day over and above a hump. You only get caught on a camera if you are going too fast. Speed humps are only a problem to anyone who drives a small car or motorbike/scooter.
   Right, now it's time for me to pick my husband up from town. We will be coming back via the scenic route, the one and only way into town without humps.