Gone are the days of worrying for the safety of students at Overton Ray Elementary School, located on a busy road in Burkburnett, Texas. In an effort to increase the safety for students and pedestrians, ELTEC worked in conjunction with Traffic Speed Modulation LLC and the city of Burkburnett to make this new technology of a retractable speed hump reality. Burkburnett is currently the only city in the country to use this technology, but this is only just the beginning.
With a need to make the high-traffic road safer for the school children, the idea of a retractable speed hump was born. For the majority of the day, the speed humps are flat against the road. However, during the school hours, the speed bumps raise 2” off the ground. The retractable speed humps are located strategically, with one being near a footbridge used by students walking to school and the other near the field where students play while at school.
In order to make these speed humps as efficient as possible, ELTEC saw a need to design a way for the timing of the lifting and retracting to happen automatically. Our time clock has been programmed for this new technology to work at the same time each day, forcing cars traveling near the school during school hours to slow down and be more aware when approaching. The humps are located near flashing 20 MPH speed signs to bring awareness to drivers as the city adjusts to the new additions.
Traffic Speed Modulation LLC designed the retractable speed humps. The mechanical engineering works through an industrial railroad airbag in the center that is located below the ground. Once it inflates, it causes the incline in the outer pieces of the hump that keep it mounted on a slope at 2” raised. Our team at ELTEC met Traffic Speed Modulation LLC and the city of Burkburnett in October of 2017 in Houston at a Texas Municipal League conference. Recognizing the need for increased safety and new technology, we saw an opportunity to test our product in a place where it was needed.
In exchange for the data from the project, we provided the city of Burkburnett with the retractable speed hump for free. The city of Burkburnett only needed to supply the resources for the installation and the engineering, which totaled $44,000. This exciting feat is just one-way ELTEC is working to improve the safety of pedestrians, especially children, as we work to utilize technology for the safety of communities everywhere.
Our future plans for the retractable speed humps are to utilize the data to create an effective product that can be used to ensure safe driving on roads where an added safety venture is necessary. Our plans include selling the systems to cities everywhere for around $20,000. We are excited about the use of this new technology to increase awareness of drivers and save lives. The future of pedestrian safety isn’t something we take lightly, and we are passionate about consistently moving forward in this effort.