[Note: Parts of this entry were previously at breaker n 4.]
speed breaker n, also attrib Also speed blocker, ~ break; abbr breaker [Prob from break to tame; despite the semantic similarity to breaker n 2, the regional distribution suggests that this developed independently.] chiefly Sth, Midl
Something that serves to slow traffic, esp a speed bump.
1925 TN Private Acts 1925 1.603, It shall be unlawful for anyone to construct across the road a ridge, embankment, speed breaker, or other obstruction . . which endangers the lives of the users of the road. 1940 Titusville Herald (PA) 7 Aug 4/4 neKS, Small indeed may be the accident which causes spinal fracture. One of the commonest forms is the hitting of a speed breaker or obstruction of any kind in the road, so that the occupant is thrown up. 1955 Big Spring Daily Herald (TX) 7 June 1/4, Studies to determine the advisability of putting up “speed breaker” lights on West Third and Fourth [were recommended]. 1965 Charleston Daily Mail (WV) 28 July 24/6, Speed breakers installed on some streets a few months ago have been removed. 1967–70 DARE (Qu. N30, . . A sudden short dip in a road) Infs AL31, MO29, Speed breaker; AR15, Dip (speed break). 1970 Beckley Post–Herald (WV) 14 Aug 13/2, A number of mothers on the street say they are happy with the results of the breaker, but yet several other residents report the “speed breaker” has been responsible for damage to their vehicles. 1975 Norwalk Reflector (OH) 3 July 8/3, Cars continue to drive into McGaun Park too fast, . . despite the installation of speed breaker bumps to slow them down. 1979 in 2001 (acc) Lexis–Nexis Legal Research State Case Law: GA (Internet), Plaintiff tripped and fell over a “speed breaker.” 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance, 53 infs, Gulf Region, Speed breaker(s); 1 inf, cnTN, Speed breaks; 1 inf, cwFL, Speed blocker. 2008 News Courier (Athens AL) 12 Mar sec A 3/3, Speed breakers, or rumble strips, are used to alert drivers to an approaching stop sign.