Jenna Ashley Robinson summarizes the results of several studies which analyzed the link between delayed emergency response times from “traffic calming” devices and survival rates in “Livable Streets, Dangerous Roads Traffic Calming Endangers the Lives of Those in Need of Emergency Services”
“Researcher Ronald Bowman’s analysis6 shows that if Boulder, Colorado implemented its plans for traffic-calming devices, they would increase emergency vehicle response times. Bowman predicts that patients needing emergency treatment would incur an increased risk to their survivability of 85 to 1 for every one minute of additional delay to response times due to planned traffic calming. In other words, if emergency medical technicians were delayed one additional minute by traffic-calming devices, a heart attack patient would be 85 times more likely to die.
Assistant Fire Chief of Austin, Texas, Les Bunte applied the Bowman analytical techniques to the City of Austin.7 His results predicted a risk factor of 35 to 1 for an additional increased delay of 30 seconds to Austin response times caused by deflection devices such as speed bumps and roundabouts. The Austin figures take into account only victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (heart attacks). Thus Bunte’s analysis predicts that for every 30 seconds additional delay for emergency medical technicians caused by traffic-calming devices, a heart attack victim is 35 times more likely to die.
Because of delays and the risk to human life, firefighters and emergency service personnel across the country oppose traffic calming”