What is Traffic Calming
The Institute of Transportation Engineers defines traffic calming as the combination of measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. Traffic calming consists of physical design and other measures put in place on existing roads to reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
You might recognize some of the measures taken by local officials to slow speeders such as speed bumps, radar trailers, and increased signage. Many cities and local governments have Traffic Calming programs in place, which offer opportunities for concerned citizens to voice speeding concerns and start the process to slow speeders on their street, either by submitting requests online or by phone. Your first step should be to see if your municipality or local jurisdiction has a formal Traffic Calming program in place. If they do not have a formal Traffic Calming program, most police departments have a Traffic Safety officer or someone you can speak to about your speeding concerns. You can learn more about Traffic Calming by visiting these sites:
How will Pocket Radar help to slow speeders on my street?
Use Pocket Radar to collect overall speed data, recording all speeds of vehicles on your street to establish a sustained pattern of speeding. If you confirm there is a serious speeding problem, you can share data with local police or appropriate authorities. The first step in getting any speed reduction action taken is providing credible information so authorities will take action and begin a Traffic Calming Program for your street.
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING IT TO “CATCH” INDIVIDUAL SPEEDERS, FLAG DOWN VEHICLES, OR SHARE LICENSE PLATES OR NAMES OF SPEEDERS WITH LOCAL POLICE. PLEASE LEAVE TRAFFIC STOPS TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Should I use Pocket Radar by myself or with others?
You can use it by yourself, but it’s even better working with a group – neighbors, Home-owner’s Associations, Neighborhood Watch, and city sponsored community teams are just a few examples. Working with a group that shares your concerns will provide support, distribute responsibilities, and provide a more powerful, unified neighborhood voice when working with local police. And most local police and traffic officials want to work with citizens committed to making their communities safer.
How do I get started with traffic calming on my street?
1. Purchase the Pocket Radar PR1000 model, which is designed specifically for measuring the speed of vehicles.
2. Make a game plan – Are you going to gather speed data on your street by yourself or can you work with your HOA, Neighborhood Watch, other group or recruit neighbors to help? Remember, citizens working together and coordinating with local police are often the best way to bring neighborhood improvements. Decide the location and times of day/hours you want to record data (usually two or more days and multiple time slots are best to establish a pattern, especially during busy traffic times).
3. Establish a pattern of speeding – Record speed data over several days for an hour or two each day, such as Monday, Friday, Saturday during the busiest traffic hours. You can download our Speed Survey Data sheet to make it easy to write down speeds. While you will need to stand near the roadway to use Pocket Radar, you can do so discretely if you’d like, holding the Pocket Radar close to you or even in a jacket pocket (it will work through thin cloth). FOR YOUR SAFETY, DO NOT CONFRONT DRIVERS THAT ARE SPEEDING.
4. Work with local authorities – If the speed data you’ve collected shows a consistent pattern of a high percentage of vehicles excessively speeding (typically 10 mph or more over the posted speed limit), contact your local police Traffic Safety Department or Traffic Calming Department (each city or county government may treat this differently). Explain your concerns, present your credible speeding data results and request a Traffic Calming investigation (if your municipality has one) or other speeding investigation be initiated so that speed reduction measures can be taken. Since every police department and municipality has their own procedures, we cannot guarantee that they will accept your speed data without verifying on their own, but this accurate information should strongly help in supporting your complaint.