Speed Bumps: Slowing down Highlanders


Over the short summer, speed bumps were placed in the parking lot of Howell High School during work on the roads around the complex. To no surprise, the bumps weren’t well received and faced backlash from students as well as some faculty. As one of those students, I would have to agree with the majority when it comes to the speed bumps. They slow people down, but the other problems they cause make them not worth the trouble.

The most obvious problem that arises from the speed bumps is the extremely slow traffic getting into the school. Cars lined up on M-59 waiting to get entrance into the school, extending traffic into the road. These students are waiting in this line for at least four minutes, and the line can sometimes extend past the entrance to the transportation department. Exiting and entering the parking lot was already slow and hectic, and the speed bumps only add to that problem. Cars might be slower, but drivers are being more unsafe trying to get out of the school. People will drive off road around the speed bumps and pass people who are waiting to go over the speed bumps. Drivers are becoming more aggressive, and trying to cut people off and get in the line to get out. Slowing traffic for the students might just be an inconvenience, but in emergency situations it can make a big difference. In a Q&A about residential speed control sent out by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), it stated that speed bumps can increase response time for emergency vehicles. In a situation like a fire where time is everything, those lost seconds could be crucial.

Slowed traffic is not the only problem that arises from speed bumps, as they can also damage vehicles. MDOT stated that going over speed bumps at any speed can cause mechanical issues to vehicles, especially school buses and delivery trucks. In some areas, such as Brighton, speed bumps are also banned from public facilities (i.e. schools) due to the damage they can cause to EMT/First Responder vehicles.  For neighborhoods this might not be as big of an issue, but when the speed bumps surround three schools with one of them being a big school like ours, that’s a lot of cars and school buses going over those speed bumps. Schools are already spread pretty thin budget wise, and having to set aside money for bus repairs and potential lawsuits will not help. 

The speed bumps create more problems than they solve and are not worth the trouble. Finding a solution to students speeding out of the parking lot that will fix the problem and be accepted may be tough, there has to be a better solution than speed bumps.

Photo Credit: Trinity Ziegler