How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Vin
Before I start, anyone who is attentive will have noted that my attitude to the speed debate is the "appropriate speed" line.

What I'm looking for is a *constructive* debate on a problem that is at the front of my mind at the moment.

I live on a suburban sidestreet in Southampton (Janson Rd for anyone who knows it, a map can be viewed on SO15 5GL.) If you do look, the obvious thing about it is that it's about a third of a mile long and dead straight. What isn't obvious from the map is that it's also very wide and is a cut-through for traffic to avoid the local congestion spot. The end result of this is traffic that sometimes hurtles down our road. The Police put down a speed check wire system in the road (exactly halfway along it) and came up with 10% of traffic exceeding 45mph. I've heard cars turn in at the top of the road and accelerate full chat the length of the road, so God only knows their speed at the end. The thing is, when this happens at 3am, I don't give a toss. When it happens and I'm standing in the road in the afternoon putting my daughter into her car seat, or there are kids crossing the street, I care a lot.

So, the conundrum is this. How do I stop this? What can be done that doesn't fill the road with humps, which I feel will just take driver's attention from what they should be looking for? How do we deal with this antisocial element who insist on doing this when it's not appropriate. I will stress again, I don't care what speed they do at 3am, I need them to slow at 3pm.

The only suggestion I have is that we all park our cars 2ft from the kerb and make the road narrow. This, however, will probably just cost us hundreds of pounds in wing mirrors.

I genuinely don't have an answer, and I'm looking for one. I don't want this thread to degenerate into a rantfest, so please try to keep things constructive.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Ian Aspinall
Sounds like the sort of place where a speed camera would actually do some good for once, but hey, it wouldn't raise as much revenue as one lurking behind a sign on the dual carriageway.

How about asking the local council how they've addressed the same problem elsewhere? Chicanes with high kerbs seem to work pretty well round our way.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Piers
Get a shop window dummy, a bright yellow jacket and an old hairdryer. Install the dummy wearing jacket and holding hairdryer 'hiding' behind a hedge or gatepost so drivers see it and slow down. Then once the drivers are used to it get the coppers in speed checking for a day and split the winnings, sorry deterent fines, with them...

With the number of dumped cars around these days you could tow some into your road and form a chicane. If the cars get hit it's not a problem.

Alternatively get a stripper in your front garden - the traffic jams outside the house every morning will slow cars down and make it a less desirable rat-run (time saving wise).

Rat-runs are a pain - on the industrial estate where I work it's a dodge to nip off the main throughroad when it's chucking out time at 5:00 and 5:30 to avoid a queue, past where my guys are crossing the road to get to cars in an overflow car-park or pull out from our main car-park, at high speeds - 45 to 50 mph tops, and then rejoin at a RAB further up the estate where they have right of way over those in the queue - hence why there is a queue.... I think 'doing a short-cut' makes drivers hurry and drive a little less safely. I've noticed this elsewhere where the people I see nipping through a residential area pop out at a RAB where I have right of way. It's the cars I see speeding off through the 30 zone rather than use the main, 60 mph none residential road, that pull out sharply right in front of you at the RAB.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Brian
Request a set of pedestrian controlled traffic lights half way along with speed sensors set at 35 mph a hundred yards or so before them.
Or maybe two sets in a 500 or 600 yard road.
Any vehicle exceeding that speed will turn the lights red.
If all else fails a resident can additionally press the button to stop the traffic as well, I am sure it could be a past-time for the small boys in the road.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Tom Shaw
I'm sure the police carry out speed checks in your area Vin, probably on straight wide roads with no junctions where they will net lots of drivers. Why not lobby your Chief Constable (Through the local press if nescessary) about this waste of resources, and try and get him to concentrate his forces efforts where they will properly contribute to road safety.

The instance you mention is the reason so many of us are hacked off about the blitz on speeding, it's done purely to catch high numbers rather than dangerous drivers.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Vin
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I did hassle the police enough that they turned up for two hours one evening and nabbed about twenty people (one of them from our road!). So, that stopped twenty people from speeding down our street. How do I stop the rest?
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Jonathan
As someone has mentioned above, if you get the local paper to publish the fact that people have been caught, people will think twice about speeding down that road.

Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Michael
Have you written to the local council? You should be able to meet and discuss this with your borough councillor and the local traffic planner.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Roland
I have often considered buying a tin of white masonery paint and painting marks at one meter intervals along the side of the road (the sort you see with speed cameras). Regular users would note the absence of a camera, but they might have sufficient nagging doubt that there is a portable camera that it would shave 5-10 mph off their speed. What is the legality of this?
Fake speed reduction devices. - David Woollard
Just seen a brilliant item on the local lunchtime news.

In Old Weston, Cambs they have become so fed up of speeding through the 40 limit minds have turned to some clever ideas.

A local farmer has erected, just on his own land but apparently on the verge, a "speed camera". It is a small grey filing cabinet on a pole with a blanked off large plastic water pipe connector fitted to the front looking just like a lens.

It really looks the business and apparently is having some effect.

Re: Fake speed reduction devices. white paint on t - Stuart B
Is it legal to paint the road? Probably not but.....

Back in the early days of Vascar the problem was, allegedly, that the roads with speeding problems did not always have convenient points to time the cars between, and this was particularly the case at night.

So, allegedly, some of the guys in one traffic unit became very interested in home decorating, to the extent of taking paint charts and decorating materials out on patrol. Well while they were discssing the merits of eau de nil, magnolia etc some of the paint got spilt onto the road surface, and well bless my soul it was found to be useful if there was another splodge a few hundred yards down the road. ;-)

At this point the gaffers got to hear about it, wizard idea they thought and at that point presumably a civil service committee was set up to decide upon size, shape and distance of white paint spots, all while consuming vast quantities of tea and custard creams.

The point of this little tale is that if it is OK for the police to drop paint on the road in the cause of speed reduction then why can you not do the same.
Re: Fake speed reduction devices. white paint on t - Chris
You know how on sports grounds they paint advertising logos in such a way that they look like they are vertical? Why not get your local art college to paint "road humps," a bloody great pothole, or even a crawling baby in the middle of the road. That should slow 'em down and get you plenty of publicity for the newspaper!

Re: Fake speed reduction devices. white paint on t - fred smith
as our friends in the traffic dept pointed out the question

"Are the large distracting white painted squares and circles on roads (for VASCAR) legal and authorised by Dept of Transport or have they been painted during the hours of darkness by non-qualified personnel in contravention of Department of Transport rules?"

is always a good question to ask your local chief constable/planning commitee
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Jonathan
There are loads of these in Edinburgh - white lines with no camera.

Presumably because they use mobile cameras. But it does slow down the

Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Brian
You land up in front of a magistrate with a charge of criminal damage, same as painting a speed camera
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Rebecca
Could you chalk the lines in? (on a rota with the neighbours)
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Darcy Kitchin
My house fronts directly on to a single track street where the other side is a grass verge sloping down 2 metres to a stream. Couple of years ago the local council built a kerb along the grass verge. When there was no kerb, cars meeting could avoid one another by one of them taking to the verge. In extremis or bad weather, an out-of-control car would slide harmlessly down the bank and await recovery from the stream. Now, you have to choose a passing place with care and no-one driving at an inappropriate speed leaves the road.

Also, since the kerb arrived, it looks like a proper road and cars whizz past at 30-40 mph sometimes, whereas when the road looked like a track, driving seemed more circumspect.

When it's chucking-out time and the local yoof are flying past in their fat-tyred Novas and Fiestas with ICE powerful enough to pop their windows out, I fantasize about rigging up a full-size hologram of an 18-wheeler and causing it to materialise in front of them.

The council were a bit shirty on the phone when I suggested that their kerb might be making things more dangerous rather than safer.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Ashley
Try placing a suitably dressed manaquin behind a tree holding a hair dryer. The only special equipment you'll need is a high visibilty vest/coat. Either that or place a 50 pence worth sign nailed to a wooden stake on the roadside. It works better than a proper one !
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Andy
Vin - How about an obviusly-home-made sign which 'warns' drivers of a new speed camera on the road?
I recently erected one of these as a protest to a Gatso which had been sited to catch drivers *coming out* of a blind bend instead of slowing them down on their way in, obviously to raise cash.
Even as I was tying the sign to the lamp post, two cars passed and visibly slowed! It works!

Just a quick query on your decision to put your daughter in the car from the road side of the car. I often find my progress blocked by parents doing this, and I always wonder why they can't do it from the pavement side?
Just a thought,
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Vin

Simply because sometimes I park my car facing that way on the road. Then, next day we decide to take my daughter out somewhere and I am so hacked off at the time it takes even to get out of the front door that I'm stuffed if I'm going to turn the car round as well.

In these circs., one of us stands very visibly in the road while the other straps daughter in. If I'm on my own, I generally DO bother torun the car round.

Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - fred smith
silly woman today parked across my drive blocking my cars in, she couldnt understand why i asked her to move... no consideration at all
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Brian
I know that there are very heavy penalties for impersonating a police officer.

What, I wonder, are the penalties, if any, for impersonating a speed camera?
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - heather davies
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Dwight Van-Driver

Organise your neighbours into a committee
Collect your evidence.
Arrange a site meeting between yourselves, local highways Traffic Management Dept and Police to thrash your problem out.
Petion your local Press, County Counciller and M.P.
Don't be complacent, persist, become a nuisance and you just may get something done.

I think they call it democracy.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Phil Goodacre
Well said Dwight. The answer is to organise yourselves, court publicity, stage a demonstration in the road and be sure to invite the press and inform your local plod station. You have to shame the authorities into preventative action.
Just an observation, not a criticism, are you not supposed to park your car with RED lights facing traffic approaching on the side of the road the car is parked? I can recall a mate of mine having his car written off when it was parked 'facing the wrong way' outside his house. If memory serves me right, not only was he prosecuted for this 'offence' but his insurance refused to pay out because of it.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Dwight Van-Driver
Road Vehicles (Con & Use) Regs 1986 Regulation 101

No person except with the permission of a police officer in uniform shall cause or permit any motor vehicle to stand on a road at any time between sunset and sunrise unless the nearside of the vehicle is as close as may be to the edge of the carriageway.
Exceptions apply to emergency service vehicle, vehicles used to repair roads, other vehicles and standing on a taxi rank.

Level 3 fine on the standard scale - £1000
No Disqualification, endorsement or penalty points.
Re: How do I slow traffic down outside my house? - Colin M
I have the same problem and considered using one of those life size cardboard cutout "John Smiths" or whoever and gluing same to long stick to poke out into the road when I hear the red lined gear changes coming up the road. Instead I have been known to amuse myself with a very powerful professional flash gun that I fire off at the occasional 11.30pm pub departures from a darkened front room. Immediate reaction is always a swift brake application!

Sad but true.


Value my car