The Speed Bump Catapault

Infuriated by reckless idiots speeding down your neighborhood street? Tired of waiting for city government to do something about it? Then you will probably enjoy this German guy’s homemade traffic-calming system, inspired, perhaps, by the legendary killer bollards of Manchester, England.

Are there any German speakers out there who can translate the text at the end?

  • Tom

    It says: “You have a better (building) idea?”

  • Mitch

    I think it says: “You have a better do-it-yourself idea?”

    I’ve never heard of Toom Baumarkt before, but from its website, I would get that it’s a German version of Home Depot or Lowe’s. They sell lumber, plumbing supplies, garden stuff, etc.

    They probably don’t sell ready-made speed bump catapults, but perhaps you can build one with materials from the store.


    It’s a real contest. If you come up with a better “do-it-yourself” project idea you can win up to 5,000 Euros. But act fast, the competition’s over on 12/31/2007.

  • Autoblog comments also offer some additional translation of the video narrative.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    My German is far from perfect. In the begining he says “What are you doing there Gisella? The camera is running. Come here with it. Wait a moment. You’ve got to see this. etc.” Not a perfect translation but it works. The first translation on is pretty much spot on after that.

  • Dave H.

    This probably moot by now:

    Have a better do-it-yourself idea? Participate now and win 5,000 Euros. Toom Construction Market. Ready. Set. Toom (a play on words I think with ‘tun’ or ‘do.’)

  • Could not be more timely , I want one immediately .. Here is my credit card number … Read on to see why …

    Child is killed on 17th street. (Kumo)

    All elected including the city Council Speaker and CB4 write to ask for one (1) speed bump

    DOT is reluctant to study because rule book says there should be two (2) speed bumps on long blocks and there is construction on the same block (800 feet away from the accident)

    The elected still obtain an inspection
    Six elected and community repreesentative convince the planners to proceed with inspection . They agree

    Now the engineers refuse to proceed because Con Edison has opened the street 500 Feet away from the orginal request for one week (It is already closed) and this interferes with the second speedbumps we never needed in the first place.

    So let me recap
    we ask for one speed bump.
    We cannot get less than 2
    Since the second one ( the one we do not need) has a temporary obstruction ( one Week) we cannot get the first one for another year
    Meanwhile children are dying

  • Chris

    Hey Christine,

    I’m really sorry to hear about the child that died on your street. I have a suggestion by way of a story that I heard some time ago. There were some folks in a neighborhood like yours (a child had died and a speed bump had been requested). They got tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and being put off, and dealing with endless red tape for years, so they finally took matters into their own hands. One night they went out and dug a speed ditch. Oddly, the city showed up the very next day to fill it in, and the crew added a little extra on top to form the perfect speed bump they all been wanting!

  • Michael Poplawski

    Thanks for posting this–I love watching German commercials, and it led me to the site with more ads from Toom here:

    I saw the Knutschen ad when I was in Germany this summer. Cute! The speed bump ad dialogue has been accurately translated here, nice job.

    Strangely enough, I didn’t notice speed humps in Germany, although I rode my bicycle a fair bit. Lots of little traffic islands, though. Something I liked was a lack of stop signs–they use yield signs as a rule, a real boon for everyone, especially cyclists. In North America, people freak out if a cyclist doesn’t put a foot down at a stop sign!

    Greetings from Victoria, British Columbia


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