The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has come un […]
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire after it said it would be reviewing speed bumps for trucks in Michigan. Speed bumps have been legally removed from some areas after residents complained about their noise and destruction of the landscape. Such protests also cite the absence of any public consultation as a primary reason. EPA received numerous complaints regarding the speed bumps on U.S. roads but only decided to review them in the context of the Michigan situation.
In the Michigan case, a state law requiring that vehicles display a minimum of 15 mph safety marks along with a speed limit of 55 mph was implemented. The law also banned the use of such speed bumps, citing "public safety and environmental issues." EPA reviewed the law and determined that enforcement of the law could cause serious environmental problems. Instead, it proposed a cost-effective alternative to speed bumps and wanted to introduce a vertical deflection system on future vehicles.
As stated above, this new law is not expected to have an immediate impact on the number of speeding vehicles on Michigan roadways. However, the change will slow emergency vehicles and First responders in their ability to get to victims in life-threatening emergencies. These victims may be trapped in a vehicle in which the driver is speeding away. In these cases, having the required visual reference of a speed bump on emergency vehicles can mean the difference between life and death.
This doesn't mean that everyone who owns a vehicle in Michigan is going to be required to install the new law. Only those whose vehicles are less than 15 percent over the state's legally enforced speed limit will be required to get the new bumps. If you're currently operating a vehicle that's more than the posted speed limit and you don't plan to get a bump, don't hesitate to contact your insurance provider and ask about a new policy that allows you to. You may find that you're able to lower your premiums by accepting a policy that doesn't require a speed limit deductible. In the long run, this can provide you with substantial savings.
Some people who don't know about speed bumps and humps think they're a nuisance. They may tell you that they cause erratic vehicle behavior and pose a safety risk. While those concerns may be valid, it's far from clear that drivers who choose to use these devices pose any more of a safety risk than those who do not. For one thing, speed bumps and humps are designed to be noticeable and effective. They are meant to prevent drivers from being distracted by other road users, and if you choose to use them in conjunction with another type of safety device, such as a deer-stare or dog-legs, it may be worth your while to combine them with another defensive driving practice.
Another thing to keep in mind is that speed bumps and humps are not designed to slow down traffic. Instead, they are designed to make it more difficult for slow cars to pass. They also decrease the likelihood that drivers will tailgate, which can sometimes be quite dangerous given the conditions. If you frequently see slow cars slow down on highways and freeways, consider installing speed bumps or humps to slow traffic down for better safety and security.