Calming Risk

Seconds Count

traffic calming collage

USA Today's series on Emergency Medical response times:
Six Minutes to Live or Die

An outstanding series of articles on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was published in USA Today on July 28th, 29th and 30th of 2003. A primary concern and criticism mentioned throughout the report was "sluggish" response times.

As a researcher and active opponent of the the use of speed humps (all vertical deflection devices) on public streets, I and others with similar concerns have tried for years to solicit serious journalistic study of the impact of these devices on EMS response across the country. While Transportation Divisions and City Councils have consistently downplayed the significance of lenthening response times by humps and other deflection devices, USA Today's "Special Report" spells out the number of lives that are being lost by slow response, and the thousands of lives that could be saved by even small increments of improved response.

"Six Minutes to Live or Die", USA Today

Part 1: July 28, 2003

Part 2: July 29, 2003

Part 3: July 30, 2003


Those of us dedicated to increasing awareness of the compromise of safety caused by some calming devices, feel that this "Special Report" has handed us a special opportunity. We can encourage a logical, follow-up article on the impact of growing numbers of humps and other devices on emergency response across the country.

If you agree that the response issues of traffic calming projects beg journalistic examination, please, take a few moments to answer USA Today's request for reader input by sending a message to Or, for more contact information, go to the USA Today's website.

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