Wherever cars and people are near, safety is of high concern. Near schools and play grounds, in car parks and multi-use areas, aggressive driving is a serious risk for pedestrians. Speed reduction is one key way to protect people in these areas. The slower the traffic speeds the less likelihood of an accident and the chance of a fatality.
Though speed zones are often set up to encourage safe driving, limits can be ignored, so traffic calming in these areas often incorporates physical design of the road way.
Speed humps, sometimes called undulations or road humps, are used for 10–15 mph speed zones. They are often seen on local streets or connector roads where traffic needs to flow smoothly. Playground and school zones often use these in traffic management.
Speed humps are used in 10–15 mph speed zones.
A speed hump creates a gentle rocking sensation in a car passing over it at the posted speed limit. If a car is driving at unsafe speed, the hump will jar the vehicle and its contents, causing discomfort to the occupants and disruption to cargo. These obstacles usually span the lane they are placed in. This way, vehicles are encouraged to pass over them with both wheels.
The use of speed humps typically lowers vehicle speeds to about 15 miles per hour. Speed humps may be used on local streets when it is determined that lower vehicle speeds and less through traffic are needed. Speed humps are not used on roadways that are intended for high-speed traffic. Speed humps can make the work of winter maintenance vehicles more difficult and can slow emergency vehicle response speeds.
These vertical deflections are not an excellent choice for arterial roads, or on any street where it is easy for a car to evade the hump by driving on a shoulder. Because of this, they’re usually installed in one or two lane local urban settings where there are curbs and closed sewers.
They are one response to people’s concerns about speeding and cut through traffic in residential housing areas. The objective of speed humps, and other traffic calming measures is to improve the safety of a road by physically controlling the vehicles speeds. Another consequence of speed humps can be a reduction in the amount of cut through traffic. Excessive vehicle speeds and or traffic volumes are common neighbourhood issues.
Speed bumps are more far more aggressive ways to calm the traffic. They are useful in places where pedestrians and cars share space closely, like car parks and driveways. A speed bump generally slows traffic to between 1 to 10 miles per hour, giving both people and cars time to react safely to one another. Speed bumps are not usually used on public roads because they require vehicles to come to a near stop to pass them and can do damage to cars moving at regular speeds.
When made from plastic or rubber, these obstacles are very easy to install on pre-existing surfaces, allowing for a quick and effective set-up. Both options are very lightweight and can be installed easily. Very restrictive installations, with many placed tightly together in a series, can create a challenge to snow removal in the colder winter climates: both plastic and rubber speed bumps can be uninstalled if required.
Speed bumps can be two to four inches in height, but they have a much shorter travel distance than that of speed humps. These obstacles are under a cars tire for less than half of a full wheel rotation, with standard widths are between six inches and two feet. The height to travel-distance ratio creates an abrupt bounce in the vehicle, which may shake both cargo and occupants. A speed bump is always much smaller than vehicles passing over it, each axle will cross separately, meaning a car moving at excessive speed will receive two jolts! Speed bumps and speed humps are usually made from asphalt or rubber. Plastic, metal, and concrete options are available.
Both speed bumps and humps are very useful to encourage safe driving in pedestrian zones. Speed humps are useful in places where traffic needs to flow, and speed bumps in small areas where pedestrians and traffic share space more equally. Both are modular and prebuilt versions can be installed simply and inexpensively on existing surfaces. Larger speed humps and their small but forceful cousins, speed bumps, are traffic safety superstars, when put on the right stage.
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