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Neighborhood Speeding – What Can Be Done?

Neighborhood Speeding Causes Many Complaints

One of the top complaints received by city officials is that people are speeding on residential roads. Many motorists exceed the 25 mph residential speed limit. That includes all types of drivers – commuters, neighborhood residents, and young drivers. People who live in the neighborhood may exceed the speed limit because they know the roads well and find them comfortable and familiar. They also may use known shortcuts through the neighborhood, bringing them past other residents who notice their speed. While the issue of neighborhood speeding is a common problem, it does not have one easy solution. Below we will look at some ways to address speeding in residential areas. 

More Stop Signs

Stop signs help with intersection safety when they are installed under the correct conditions. However, in other areas, they can create additional problems. Things that should be considered before a stop sign is installed are:

  • Traffic speeds
  • Traffic volume
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Sight distance at the intersection
  • The frequency of gaps in traffic

When all-way stop signs are put in at intersections that do not meet the minimum requirements, they do very little to decrease traffic speeds. Worse, they are frequently ignored by motorists traveling on the main road, which can put cross-traffic and pedestrians at greater risk. 

Lowering the Speed Limit

Many residents may think that reducing the speed limit will result in fewer motorists speeding. However, a number of studies have found that driver speed is more greatly influenced by road conditions than the posted speed limit. Changing the speed limit may have very little or no effect. The residential speed limit of 25 mph is set by the California Vehicle Code and is one of the few examples of a speed limit set by code. Speed limits on other types of roadways are set after engineering studies that look at a number of traffic factors. 

Children at Play Signs

While it may bring a sense of security to parents to put out a sign that warns motorists that children are at play, it is likely a false sense of security. Motorists tend to ignore these signs, especially if there are many within one neighborhood. It becomes a situation of “sign pollution.” There has been no evidence that these types of signs reduce the number of pedestrian or bicycle collisions in an area. This does not apply to regulated signs denoting school zones, which have been shown to be effective when used properly. 

Speed Bumps

Neighborhood residents often request that speed humps, bumps, or tables be installed on their streets. These raised road devices are effective in reducing driver speeds as well as decreasing the volume of traffic. There are some downfalls to speed bump installation, including increased vehicle noise, and increased traffic on adjacent streets without speed bumps. There are also significant maintenance and installation costs that may not be covered by city funds – residents may be required to contribute. 

Watch the YouTube video. The problem of neighborhood speeding has been an issue since cars were invented. Six years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uploaded the “Leadfoot” vehicle posted below.

El Dorado Hills Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello – I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer serving the residents of El Dorado Hills, California. Accidents caused by reckless and negligent drivers happen every day on our local highways and in our residential neighborhoods. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash caused by a speeding or otherwise careless driver, the injury lawyers at my firm are available to offer free and friendly legal advice.  We can be reached at (530) 392-9400.  If you will be calling from other areas in Northern California, please use our toll-free number: (800) 404-5400.  

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