October 29, 2002
To whom it may concern,
What we all want is a better safer community with access for all. Speed humps
(tabled crosswalks) do not provide this. All the documented scientific studies
support the problems with speed humps, not any benefits.
They cause : traffic diversion and congestion onto our neighboring streets,
causing irritation and frustration for our neighbors, delay emergency response,
significantly increase air pollution, increase damage to private and public
vehicles, increase gas usage, cause pain and restrict public access for the
injured and disabled.
As a retired Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of El Cajon, I am very familiar
with speed humps and their effect on emergency vehicles. During my 15 years with
the city I had many experiences with speed humps, none of which were pleasant.
Speed humps do slow down response times unless you want to damage your
equipment, vehicle or personnel. This is not an option, if you canít get to the
sick, injured or dying you canít help anyone.
Speed humps throw everything and everyone on the emergency vehicle around unless
you take them slowly. I have worked with the City of El Cajon as an acting
engineer on informal studies that reinforce this. Studies and my own experience
have show that the emergency vehicles must slow to approximately 5mph over each
hump. The time required to traverse each hump is from 6 to 15 seconds. That
amount of time doesnít sound long but with successive humps, which is how they
are installed the seconds add up to minutes. To the general public 30 seconds to
a minute isnít long but it means life or death in many cases. I would ask you
why emergency medical crews train to get to an emergency as fast as possible ?
The answer is simple, the faster they get there the more people they can save.
Time / response calculations show that deaths in critical situations increase
dramatically as the emergency response times increase. For instance, a two
minute response time gives you an 82% survival rate whereas a four minute
response only a 51% survival rate and a five minute response time the survival
rate is down to a meager 19%. The same calculations show 8 times as many people
will die due to the delays speed humps cause than they will possibly prevent.
Then there is the emergency transportation of these critically sick or injured.
So, not only is there a delay in response but in the transportation of these
people. As a Paramedic for 15 years I know first hand how hard it is to provide
adequate care in a moving vehicle. Speed humps make it impossible. The ambulance
either has to stop or treatment has to be postponed until after them. Also,
watching a patient in pain getting bumped around and asking you for help is gut
wrenching ! Imagine having a broken back or neck and on top of that an
excruciating ride to the operating room !
Proposing tabled crosswalks is the same thing as putting speed humps on all
major routes of response. This is going to kill a lot of innocent people who are
not aware of the delay these cause. It is also going to trap the disabled people
in their homes who are only able to get out with the use of vehicles.