Slowing Down Traffic The Icelandic Way

The more powerful cars get the more calls there are for them to slow down.

Most local authorities in the UK seem to think imposing 20 mile an hour speed limits or putting in speed bumps will do the job, but they don’t seem to have any impact on reducing traffic related injuries (there was 186,209 casualties of all severities reported in 2015).

Some local authorities are trying to be more creative. Iver Parish Council in Buckinghamshire recently resorted to installing childlike safety statues near schools in their area, only for their local residents to label them ‘creepy’. (The bollards are dressed up in school uniforms). But they also cost £5,000 which sounds expensive.

Perhaps they should look instead at what a small village in Iceland has come up with. The local Councillors in Ísafjörður have let a local company (Vegamálun) paint an ingenious 3D pedestrian crossing on the road. The remarkably clever (and remarkably cheap) idea has already had the desired effect in making motorists cut their speed.

What impressed us was the speed (no pun intended) it took for the local council to agree to the idea. According to a press report (in Cycling Weekly naturally), the company’s CEO, Gauti Ívar Halldórsson said that the company had only come up with the idea at the start of the September, but that it was ‘only a couple of weeks for the local authorities to give the go-ahead for the scheme’.

Wish our local authorities could make potentially life saving decisions that fast.



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