Fake speed bumps painted on roads

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is testing faux speed bumps that are painted on the road. Their substance is merely an optical illusion, but apparently they slow people down. Until they realize the bumps are two dimensional anyway. From the Associated Press:
Speeeebump The 3-D markings are appealing because, at $60 to $80 each, they cost a fraction of real speed bumps (which can run $1,000 to $1,500) and require little maintenance, said Richard Simon, deputy regional administrator for the highway safety administration.

On one of three streets tested in the Phoenix trial, the percentage of drivers who obeyed the 25 mph speed limit nearly doubled. But the effect wore off after a few months.

"Initially they were great," said the Phoenix Police traffic coordinator, Officer Terry Sills. "Until people found out what they were."
Fake speed bumps (Associated Press)


  1. The excellent thing about this is that they train drivers to think that speed bumps are fake, thus increasing the likelihood that someone will proceed to hit a real one at top speed. Hilarity will ensue, especially if it’s your differential lying in the roadway.

  2. They would be more effective if real “movable” ones where added to the mix.. This way, just when motorists think they know which is fake/ real, they have to figure it out all over again.

  3. Yeah, the thing to do is figure out some optimal mix of real/fake bumps. As long as you’re replacing some of the real ones, you’re saving money.

  4. my city put up these radar speedometer thingymabobs on a street by my house. it tells you how fast you’re going, and if you’re more than 3mph above the limit it tells you to slow down, then it flashes you. but it doesn’t take your picture because it’s not at an intersection. it just flashes you. highly annoying, but like these speedbumps, completely ineffective after about a week.

    wonder how much of my tax money they wasted on that shit.

  5. “These so-called ‘speed bumps’ are a waste of time. If anything, they slow you down!”

  6. That would be senseless cruelty. Think of the blunted fangs and cries of disappointed betrayal.

  7. Replace them with real ones once the morons think they’ve worked out which ones are fake.

    How about a speed camera, but instead of taking the speeder’s picture, it hurls a brick through his/her windshield?

    I’m joking, but people who drive fast through built-up areas deserve to suffer.

  8. Speed bumps became ineffective once I realized that you barely notice them if you go fast enough.

  9. #16 You must have a very good car suspension system or daddy buys you a new one every couple of miles. :p

  10. Maybe just place some fake news reports of real big speed bumps being put into rotation, looking just like the painted ones?

    Then some fake outcry about damaged cars, etc.

    As long as you’re doing fakery, do it up!

  11. Anything that distracts drivers from actual obstacles that may be their path of travel is a bad thing. That includes cell phones, fake speed bumps, bugs on the inside of your windshield, and hard-to-read billboards.

    Exceptions include exotic cars, highway patrol cars and hot biker chicks.

  12. Actually, one of the places they tested this was a block from my house, on a street I drove daily.

    Never once did they look like speed bumps to me, nor my family. Besides, the streets they tested these on, was a residential, and once you realized they weren’t speed bumps, you never slowed down again.

    Not to mention the west side of the road was entirely elderly housing, so traffic was naturally kept at a limit.

  13. Where can I sign up to get paid $60 – %80 for spending 5 mins painting a simple graphic in the street?

    …yeah, I know, plus gas + travel time…

  14. Actually these fake ones have been around for many years here in Sweden. It was a big new thing when they first came out (I think around 6 years ago), and they maintained them for a while, now they don’t anymore. Here they made very low speedbumps and painted them to look higher with the “3D paint”. So I am guessing that the cost was higher then simply painting it, but so was the effect. Still it turned ineffective after a while I guess.

    #19 if you go over a real speedbump at around 60-90km/h (depending on the bump) you will barely notice it, especially in a car with a softer suspension. I accidentally drove over a bump once doing 90, and was surprised when I barely noticed it. Although I have been too chicken to try it again ;)
    This is by design so that emergency vehicles don’t have to slow down, since that would be stupid.

  15. Sneakier: mechanical speedbump, one that adjusts itself in height depending on your speed. Go the limit, no bump. A little over, small bump to tell you to behave. WAY over, you tear your axle out when you try to mount a wall.

  16. Anyone who uses StumblUpon or receives chain emails was hopeful that this 3d chalk crap finally had died off. But Nope. It’s Back!!!

  17. #8 seyo and #16 Alex, who don’t slow down for real speed bumps, that’s why double bumps were invented. There’s one in front of a school near my house. They’re very small, but right next to each other. The distance is such that you hit the second bump while your car is still trying to recover from the first one.

    Most people slow down to about 30-40kmh (25mph) for normal bumps, but for this double bump, you really have to slow down to about 10kmh. Any faster than that and your car will shake violently. If you try to take them at 25mph, I’m pretty sure your car will be lying in pieces on the road side. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but there’s a good chance you’d actually break something as the bottom of your car hit the top of the second bump.

  18. I wish they’d just put more left turn arrows on traffic lights so people wouldn’t have to play chicken with the oncoming traffic.

  19. I found the best policy to be one I found outside of Denver – this neighborhood had 40mph signs posted everywhere but then ALSO had speedbumps. Assuming 40 was a safe speed to be going when driving over these speedbumps I was quickly amazed that I didn’t leave a part of my car behind after the first one. I halved my speed REAL quick despite the continued encouragement of the 40mph signs. O_O;

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