Excessive and inappropriate speeds are a major concern for road safety. Such speeds have an adverse effect on the number and severity of road traffic accidents and significantly reduce the quality of life in many urban and rural areas. Physical traffic calming measures - road humps and chicanes, for example - can generate substantial reductions in vehicle speeds and accidents, but can be unpopular. On behalf of the Department for Transport, TRL has developed and tested alternative traffic calming techniques that make greater use of psychological (non-physical) measures, but are intended to still have a significant speed-reducing capability.
Psychological theories that provide insight into how specific road design measures might reduce driving speeds are reviewed. Ideas for traffic calming based on these principles are illustrated using photomontage and evaluated by means of focus groups, a questionnaire survey, on the TRL Driving Simulator and finally in on-road trials.

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