Village Tackles Speeding by Planting Thousands of Flowers Because Drivers Slow Down as They Pass By

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Wildflower meadows are beautiful; so beautiful in fact that a village in Britain has found they act as natural speed traps from motorists slowing down to look at them.

The village of Long Newnton in Gloucestershire has a problem with fast moving through-traffic between nearby towns. Almost all drivers moving through areas they frequent will break posted speed limits, and neither a 30 mile per hour limit, nor warning signs made any difference.

Officials first planted flowers along the roadside during the pandemic to help improve biodiversity.

But they noticed that as well as attracting more wildlife, motorists also slowed down when they passed the flowers.

The village, between Tetbury and Malmesbury, has traffic regularly travelling between them, and the small parish council receives limited funds from the government for traffic control measures.

Putting two and two together, the village is now relying on its flowers to do the work that the road signs could not, paying for the blooms with crowdfunding in the village.

Why exactly people slow down isn’t entirely clear.

“Evidence has shown that if you introduce things like wildflowers, drivers will slow down because they feel like they’re coming into somewhere that’s looked after,” said Jenny Forde, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Cotswold District Council.

A crowdfunding campaign that has raised almost £8,000 for traffic-calming measures will be used to fund a three-year care program for the wild flowers.

A sign that flashes and records data when people are breaking the 30mph (48kmph) speed limit was also installed by the council.

According to the data, 90% of motorists drive above the speed limit.

It goes to show that something the homeschooling revolution in America is getting right applies elsewhere too, that rewards for good behavior will always outperform penalties for bad behavior.