General Question

Jay170590's avatar

What are those 2 wires that are placed across roads for?

Asked by Jay170590 (335points) May 25th, 2010 from iPhone

I’m not sure if they’re anywhere else but here in the uk there are often 2 wires that go across the whole road, they are about a foot apart. Does anyone know what they are there for and more importantly should I be slowing down when driving over them?

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14 Answers

cfrydj's avatar

They are probably doing a traffic count. Municipalities need traffic statistics for all kinds of development purposes.

nicky's avatar

I think the two wires check how fast people go as well.

anartist's avatar

They count traffic. Maybe a study being done. I used to lay these wires as a job in college—at 2–4 am with police escort and donuts and coffee.

NRO's avatar

counting traffic. statistics for new roads planning.

jpwilson25's avatar

As far as there being two of them, I believe @nicky was partially correct in that they COULD be used to check speeds, but I believe they’re mainly used to count traffic in both directions. The wires are probably hooked to a system that detects which wire was hit first and then determines which direction the vehicle was traveling. In order for them to detect the speed of a vehicle, the wires would probably have to be spaced a bit farther apart than 1 foot.

dpworkin's avatar

They are not timing you, they are counting axles so they can know if there is heavy truck usage.

lilikoi's avatar

Traffic count and speed check. I think if it were just for traffic count, there would only be one wire.

lilikoi's avatar

They have these down the road from my house. I’m not slowing down because I want them to change the traffic light pattern. I have to get through two lights to get home, and they are not well synchronized. 99% of the time you get stuck at the first one. Only the person in the very front of the line will make it through the second one without having to wait through the second light, and that’s only if the person goes 30+ mph in front of an elementary school. Even if you tail the first person, you will get stuck at a long red. Pisses me off, man!

njnyjobs's avatar

They’re not even wires, they are pneumatic rubber hoses that actuate a counter as they are ran over. . . It is for counting traffic volume

Strauss's avatar

I always thought the reason for two is redundancy in case one malfunctions, much the same reason a TV personality will wear two microphones.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Yetanotheruser oh, and here I thought the redundancy was having two people in the booth…

stratman37's avatar

Those two hoses leave the mark of the beast on your tires as you drive across ‘em. Without the mark, you pay more at the toll booth.

Strauss's avatar

I always thought the reason for two is redundancy in case one malfunctions, much the same reason a TV personality will wear two microphones

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