An outstanding series of articles on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was published in USA TODAY on July 28th, 29th and 30th of 2003. A primary concern and criticism mentioned throughout the report was "sluggish" response times.

As a researcher and active opponent of the the use of speed humps (all vertical deflection devices) on public streets, I and others with similar concerns have tried for years to solicit serious journalistic study of the impact of these devices on EMS response across the country. While Transportation Divisions and City Councils have consistently downplayed the significance of lenthening response times by humps and other deflection devices, USA Today's "Special Report" spells out the number of lives that are being lost by slow response, and the thousands of lives that could be saved by even small increments of improved response.

I, and others dedicated to increasing awareness of the compromise of safety caused by some calming devices, feel that this "Special Report" has handed us a "Special Opportunity." We can encourage a logical, follow-up article on the impact of growing numbers of humps and other devices on emergency response across the country.

If you agree that the response issues of traffic calming projects beg journalistic examination, PLEASE, take a few moments to answer USA Today's request for reader input.


View the entire series of articles.


Part 1:

Many lives are lost across USA because emergency services fail
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

Seattle: Firefighters, medics unite to save lives
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

Washington, D.C.: Slow response, lack of cooperation bring deadly delays
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

Part 2:

The price of just a few seconds lost: People die
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

Doctor in charge rarely call the shots
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

How many lives could be saved?

Part 3:

Only strong leaders can overhaul EMS
By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

A co-worker in trouble: 'We had to do something'
By Mary Grote, USA TODAY

Stricken in a public place: One CPR class saves the day
By In-Sung Yoo, USA TODAY

At home, panic first, then realization: 'I can do this'
By Rati Bishnoi, USA TODAY

The series requests feedback from readers -- but ONLY those who have received emergency response. Therefore, I recommend sending an e-mail to:

If you only want to write a few words and do not want to be published, indicate that the letter is only an opinion and not submitted for printing.

Please use the words "Speed Humps" or "Traffic Calming" in the "Subject" space provided for e-mail, so that the letters can easily be searched by subject, should the editor note a number of such e-mails.

Thank you and please bring this to the attention of anyone who might also be willing to take a few minutes to contribute.

Best regards,

Kathleen Calongne
2431 - 23rd St.
Boulder, CO 80304