Canadian city tries a startling new approach to slow down drivers

Innovative tactics are always required to break through to your audience, but the latest traffic-calming device to be implemented in West Vancouver, BC is garnering all kinds of attention; and not the least from the drivers at which it is aimed:

For insight about the creation of the optical-illusion "speed-bump," read the interview transcript at PRI's "The World" between host Marco Werman and David Dunne, the Director of Traffic Safety for the British Columbia Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation.

The tactic is not without controversy however.  Commentators and bloggers have called the image of the girl "creepy" and "scary," according to ABC News, and one traffic safety authority has even deemed it "dangerous" and implied it could contribute to distracted driving.

What are your thoughts?




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How About a Tax Break for Car Free Commuters?

This is a nice idea, but there is not enough support from our goverments that will provide proactive results.

I have been car free on the weekdays now for 3 years, taking the Metra train to work and home. The only time that I drive a car is on the weekends for errands, etc.

You would think that our goverments would support the citizens who do this with a tax break. For example, how about a deduction on the Federal and State tax returns for the amount you spend on public transportation? I can use the $1200 + write off for what I spend on monthly Metra train tickets.

A tax deduction like this would help EVERYONE, not just the rich and the poor. It would promote public transportation and generally reduce gasoline prices based on "demand = price".

If any of you politicians are reading this, Democrat, Republican or Tea, you would get my vote if you propose this in your respective legislatures.

Thank You

Bikes already have a tax

Bikes already have a tax break. We have the rights to almost all roads, but pay no gas tax, licensing fees or other taxes that are used to maintain the roads. Asking to pay nothing and get money back sounds like a European, not American concept.

This is a great way to look at it

Truly, we do get a tax-break in this regard, and it is completely fair and legitimate.  The amount of wear and tear to roads by bikes is practically zero.  The elements wear down that infrastructure faster.

We're halfway there...

Hi Ted,

Thanks for your comment.

Currently Employers can provide employees with up to $230 a month, $2,760 a year, for transit or vanpool commuting expenses as tax-free benefits in accordance with the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) and Section 132(f) of the IRS Code.

If you don't already take advantage of this through your employer, check with your HR or benefits manager.

You can also enroll in a pre-tax deduction program from your paycheck that goes towards your transit expenses.  For example, once a month my Chicago Card is automatically loaded with $30, deducted, pre-tax, from my paycheck.

Learn about these and more benefits at

It's a genius stunt, but

It's a genius stunt, but terrible for practical use.

My first thought is of immature drivers who will make a game out of speeding up and pretending to hit "the girl" head on. What happens when a child really is crossing and they don't notice the difference right away? Also if a driver isn't being observant as it is, they're not likely to slam on the brakes (which could also cause someone to run into them) they'll swerve to the side to avoid "the girl" and could get themselves or others hurt that way.

I applaud the idea, but it's best left as an advertising tool for safe driving. Put it into everyday use or on multiple roads, and just wait for the lawsuits to come in.

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