Portable Speed Bump Keeps a Safe Work Zone Around FlaggersAbstract:
In most cases, motorists entering a work zone decrease the speed of their vehicles and drive more carefully; however, some drivers become frustrated or impatient with traffic delay, making flaggers susceptible to potential injury. In New York, alone, there were five flaggers struck in work zones last year.
Taking part in a program cosponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), a Mexican engineer participating in the FHWA-funded CALTRANS-Baja California Personnel Exchange Program, created an imaginative new solution for making work, crash, and incident zones safer-portable speed bumps.
Called the Advance Traffic Warning System (ATWS), the speed bumps are actually an 11′ x 3’6″ (3.35 x 1.07 meter) mat made of a flexible, yet sturdy, rubber with a polyurethane backing, built around woven fiberglass. The mat thickness, reflective material, and reflective circular ceramic tiles act as rumble strips (like those often seen in crosswalks), and provide a compelling reason for drivers to decrease vehicle speed when approaching a flagger. Best of all, it’s so portable, lightweight, and easy to handle that it can be quickly folded up and moved along work zones within minutes.
Other benefits of the portable speed bumps include resistance to water, grease, and oil. The composit material remains flexible, even in freezing temperatures, and resists rips, tears, and cuts. The ATWS will sustain any direct pressure on it, and its highly reflective stripes and reflective coating enable workers to use the speed bumps at night.