An unholy alliance between some city governments and manufacturers of some potentially deadly and unsafe products unfortunately exists. A good example is the City Of Portland, Oregon which receives "royalty" payments from a private business, Recycled Technologies of Tualatin, Oregon for every speed bump sold. Recycled Technologies manufactures potentially deadly and unsafe recycled rubber speed bumps, of which both the City Of Portland and Recycled Technologies both promote for sale around the nation despite clear evidence from courtroom liability cases and injured victim lawsuits that speed bumps are an unsafe and potentially deadly traffic "calming" device.
While simple traffic control devices such as the increased use of stop signs and traffic lights have proven themselves to be both effective and safe, there is far more profit in the sale of large potentially dangerous speed bumps to city governments across the nation. Speed bump manufacturers have a huge profit stake in the promotion of their highly profitable but potentially deadly and dangerous speed bump devices, despite clear evidence that such devices can both damage vehicles and injure or kill drivers.
Speed bumps have been proven to cause damage to shock absorbers to automobiles or throw front ends out of alignment, and are estimated to result in as much as 50% higher automobile maintenance costs. Speed bumps are meant to cause discomfort to drivers, which means that they create a minor form of whiplash to the driver each time that they pass over the bumps. At a higher speed, more serious neck and spinal injury to the driver can result.
Speed bumps can also aggravate existing injuries to the neck or spine, even at a slow speed due to their design. If an automobile leaf spring should suddenly crack while traveling over a speed bump, severe neck or spinal injury to the driver may result.
Speed bumps can be deadly to motorcyclists and bicyclists. Leaves or other debris may disguise part of the danger to riders of two-wheeled vehicles. In a California court case, a bicyclist was awarded $125,000 for serious injuries resulting from a crash in a supermarket parking lot that installed a speed bump, for example.
Traffic calming devices can cause the deaths of persons when fire and rescue personnel are slowed down and unable to quickly respond to a fire, heart attack, stroke, choking incident, or other serious incidents. Seconds are critical when 9/11 is called to save the lives of stroke or heart attack victims. Unnecessary deaths can result from a slowed response time to serious incidents. Austin, Texas estimated that an additional 37 persons a year will die from cardiac arrest incidents due to a slower emergency response due to speed bump use.
In Boulder, Colorado another study estimated that speed bump use would result in the deaths of 85 persons for every 1 person saved by slowing traffic for example. In Portland, Oregon a speed bump-like barrier erected to only allow bicycle traffic to turn on to S.E. 20th Avenue proved deadly to two persons in a car who were speeding at night and it tore the car in half and caused it to hit a tree, killing both persons.
Right now there are some public concerns about some deadly imports. However, there are some city governments like Portland, Oregon that directly profits by working with a private company that manufactures potentially dangerous and deadly devices meant to "calm" traffic. Your government at work.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!