The speed bump gets an education in Mexico
There is little question that speed bums are a wonderfully practical way to slow down those drivers who drive without regard for speed limits. Unfortunately though, those of us who obey traffic laws to begin with, also have to feel the effects of having these devices in place, and our cars have to suffer the atrocities that these devices cause to them.
Fortunately, a 21st century spin on an ancient traffic control device is being developed in Mexico by a company called Decano Industries, reports USAToday. These ‘smart’ speed bumps, as they are being referred to as, have a sensing mechanism that will enable the bumps only to stay raised when when drivers exceed the speed limit.
The speed bumps are designed with the conscientious driver in mind, as they preserve the safety feature of the traditional speed bump without taking adverse action on those vehicles whose drivers obey traffic laws.
The technology is really simple: The bump is comprised of two steel plates that form a triangle sticking out of the pavement and senses the impact with which a vehicle makes contact with it. If the impact is below the threshold considered to be the point where speeding occurs, the plates collapse under the weight of the car as it passes.
Civil engineer Jose Luis Camba, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico lends mention to the fact that many police officers are easily bribed or ill-equipped to catch speeders. “So the government takes the easy way out and builds a speed bump,” Camba told USAToday. “Or sometimes neighbors just get so frustrated that they build one themselves. It’s a symptom of a lack of respect for the law.”
Though companies are making prototypes all over the world, Decano’s model is designed for a developing country with a cost of about $1,500 per lane and annual maintenance cost of about $50. Each bump should last approximately ten years according to Decano.
– By: Stephen Calogera