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Monday, November 20, 2006

A Traffic Question

We will start with Question 23 on the 2004 verbal reasoning paper.

What do humps, cushions and tables have in common?

a) Speed calming devices
b) Speed humps
c) Traffic calming
d) Necessary evil
e) Challenge to driving ingenuity
f) All of the above.

Question 36 on the 2005 English paper.

With special reference to traffic calming, define the following:


We know that humps, and their cousins, slow down emergency vehicles, we have heard that the humps cause pollution by extra emissions as people speed up between the humps, we have heard stories about subsidence caused by vibrations. We know too that there is not much evidence to support the claim that speed humps save lives and accidents.

You are naturally wondering why speed humps are the `flavour of the day’. Yesterday, being Sunday, we had a 15 strong family gathering in a pub in Ealing in London. There was family from Spain and various far flung parts of England.

I followed a carefully and lovingly restored VW crawl over humps (a block across the road), cushions (a blip in the road) and a table (an area over an intersection). We all know that the engine in a VW is in the rear. The exhaust pipes enjoy a low suspension. The car had to drop down to walking speed to pass over some of the humps and cushions. A line of fifteen cars built up behind the stately progress of the powder blue VW. (Driven by a member of our family.)

So when you are driving with your child, extending vocabulary and coping with traffic, try to discuss calmly, and rationally, the difference and merits of humps, cushions and tables.

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