Actibump, Source: Actibump in operation, by Daniel Čada (CC0 1.0)

Helsingborg authorities get creative on road safety

Helsingborg authorities get creative on road safety

A range of intelligent methods for reducing speed on residential streets are being tested out

When concerned residents log complaints about careless driving in their neighbourhoods, the authorities in the Swedish city of Helsingborg heed the call and get to finding ways on how to mitigate these kinds of problems. The local municipal website has informed the population that there is already ongoing work into implementing a variety of speed-reducing measures in the district of Adolfsberg.

If traffic control measures are deemed successful, they will be applied in other parts of the city

For one, traffic authorities have placed 40 new speed bumps on quieter streets if they have received continuous reports about speed disturbances there. The drawback is that speed bumps are too rigid to be put on busy roads as this would affect and severely restrict traffic too much, especially when it comes to the passing of essential vehicles, such as public transport and emergency services.

So, what can be done instead? It turns out there are other ways that one could implement traffic control.

One of them relies more on the powers of psychology, peer pressure and, shall we say it, a bit of public shaming. We are talking about the so-called ‘Your Speed’ digital signs, which measure the speed of passing vehicles and informs their drivers about it, combined with a smiley or a sad face.

Helsingborg and other Swedish cities are also something of global pioneers when it comes to the invention of ‘smarter’ speed bumps. One of these devices is the actibump, which is actually a depression in the road activated only by vehicles driving over the speed limit. There is one on Kullavägen Street, for example.

Then there are the speed cushions, also known as bus cushions in Sweden. These resemble the soft-material regular speed bumps with the difference that they do not occupy the whole width of a road.

Instead, they are only placed in the middle of a traffic lane and are narrow enough for a bus to pass over them without slowing down but wide enough to cause cars to comply with them. These will be installed Carl Krooksgatan and Södergatan Streets.

And that is not all. During the warm season between April and October, residents have the opportunity to rent speed-reducing flower boxes from the Traffic Department. These attractive ‘speed bumps’ make slowing down somewhat more enjoyable at least.



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