Everything you need to know about speed cushions!
A speed cushion is a piece of significant speed control equipment installed in a slow zone area to provide pedestrians safety against speeding vehicles.
Speed cushions are designed keeping in mind the dimensions of vehicles. They allow emergency vehicles, buses, trucks, cycles, and bicycles to move without slowing down. However, they force them to reduce their speed by around 20 to 25 miles per hour when it comes to passenger-car movement.
Speed cushions are used all over the world. They are found in different types that differ from each other based on their material, colour, size, and other features.
This article explains all you need to know about speed cushions.
What is a speed cushion?
A speed cushion is a mounded structure that forces vehicular drivers to diminish their speed to around 20 to 25 miles per hour (mph). They are manufactured with the help of traffic-engineering techniques by transportation engineers.
They are manufactured in variable dimensions but according to the axle dimensions of vehicles used in a country.
The width of a speed cushion is always smaller than that of large-axel vehicles, and it is always larger than that of a passenger car. Here are some FAQ speed cushions you should know to learn about.
Learn more: What is a speed cushion?
Will they damage a car?
Speed cushions and other traffic calming measures are only a few inches tall. They do not damage cars that move over them at a slow speed. However, they can be damaging if vehicles pass over them at an unsuitable high-traffic speed.
Do speed cushions slow down emergency vehicles?
Speed cushions are not placed throughout the width of a roadway. Instead, these speed control and traffic control devices are placed at a certain distance between two-speed cushions. An emergency vehicle such as an ambulance or fire truck has a wide axle; therefore, it can pass through the gaps without decreasing speed.
Are they effective in reducing vehicular speed?
Like a speed bump, speed hump, and speed table, speed cushions are also very effective in slowing down speeding vehicles to promote pedestrian safety and traffic safety. Traffic data indicates that rumble strips, speed humps, traffic signals, pavement markings, speed signs, traffic cones, and stop signs have helped the transportation department and federal highway administration make roads and streets safer.
Can I put recycled rubber speed cushions on my street?
Speed cushion installation is the responsibility of the local municipality. You should send them a petition to get speed traffic-management tools installed on your street.
What is the role of speed cushions?
Like other traffic-control equipment, the main role of speed cushions is to slow down traffic volume to prevent collisions between a bicyclist, motorist, cyclist, school bus and motor-vehicle driver.
The points below highlight the primary roles that a speed cushion plays.
Creates safer city streets and roads for all
Speeding can be deadly for drivers and walkers. Installing speed cushions on pedestrian crossings, crosswalks, stop signs, traffic signals, parking lots, speed limit signs, and parking signs can help create a friendly and nonviolent environment for all.
Reduces vehicular acceleration
Passenger cars reduce their speed when their flashing yellow light falls on the reflective surface of these tools, and they find speed cushions in their sight distance. It helps people move on crossings, pavement, unmarked crosswalks, and sidewalks to crossroads more carefully while examining the movement of cars.
Helps in the ordinance and police enforcement
A speed cushion and a speed bump on the road can help traffic police make people follow basic speed-limit traffic laws even in their absence. They make people read variable message signs, crossing signs, construction signs, and signage displayed in residential, no-parking, school, and pedestrian zones.
Allows emergency vehicles to move smoothly
Speed cushions installed on traffic lanes do not change emergency vehicles’ speed. So, they go at their regular speed and reach their destination on time.
Does not prevent stormwater drainage
Because of gaps in speed cushions, water can move on the road like usual and reach the drainage without any hindrance.
Learn more: What is the role of speed cushions?
The best traffic calming strategies in Europe!
Speed cushions and traffic calming measures have been used in European countries for several decades now. They are used to improve life quality and make people feel protected when walking on roads, ramps, intersections, roundabouts, cut-throughs, and railroad crossings.
Many road traffic safety strategies are implemented in Europe by committees and municipalities to reduce speeding, which can be hazardous. Some of these strategies that control hazards are as follows.
Intelligent crosswalks are used in tourist areas where foot traffic is heavy. Renewable energy sources, traffic lights, and proper signs are used to guide pedestrians correctly to protect them from vehicles exceeding their speed limits.
According to the superblock concept, the internal space of the city centre is pedestrianized, meaning it is restricted to pedestrian use only. Other than walkers, emergency vehicles and logistic vehicles can move through such spaces.
Behavioural change through activities and curriculum in schools
Students were taught the right way to cross a road through different activities and school curricula. They learn how to use a school bus and more, which helps them stay safe on roads and streets.
Traffic control devices
A variety of traffic control devices are installed in different areas according to the needs of residents. Speed cushions, speed tables, speed humps, and speed bumps are a few examples of such devices. They are installed strategically in areas where pedestrians and vehicles move close to each other.
Learn more: The best traffic calming strategies in Europe!
Different types of speed cushions
Speed cushions are found in various types. They are divided into different kinds based on their construction materials, colours, and other features. The procedure of speed cushion installation depends on the type of speed cushion. People choose a particular kind of speed cushion for their area according to the needs and location of their area.
Below are the most commonly available speed cushion kinds.
Asphalt speed cushions
As the name indicates, this kind of speed cushion is made up of asphalt. It is a kind of permanent speed cushion that cannot be replaced but can be destroyed and then removed.
Concrete speed cushions
Concrete is also used to make speed cushions. Such speed cushions are called concrete speed cushions. They are hand and dense. Like asphalt speed cushions, they are also permanent and cannot be removed once they have been installed.
Rubber speed cushions
Speed cushions that are made up of rubber are called rubber speed cushions. They have a soft surface compared to the above two kinds. Due to this, they have less impact on vehicles. They are temporary because they can be removed and installed only in a few minutes.
Speed cushions with black and white markings
Speed cushions are marked with prominent paint colours to improve their visibility. Speed cushions that are marked with black and white paint are called speed cushions with black and white markings.
Speed cushions with yellow markings
Speed cushions are made more visible to drivers with the help of bright yellow paint markings. They are called speed cushions with yellow markings.
Learn more: Different types of speed cushions.
Guide to speed cushion installation
Using the right speed cushion installation procedure is important to ensure they are placed correctly. This guide for speed cushions will highlight the necessary steps required to install speed cushions.
- You first need to prepare the area by marking the exact location with the help of white chalk. Then create holes in the right positions on the pavement and screw the lifting eyes in those holes.
- In the next step, you will have to prepare an adhesive material that you will use to attach a rubber speed cushion to the pavement. Mix the material in a bucket, then pour it over the desired area to create an even surface for speed cushion installation.
- Hold the speed cushion and place it over the glue bed you created in the above step. Fix it to the place with the help of screws. Cover screws with durable coverings.
Learn more: Guide to speed cushion installation.
Speed cushion regulations
After learning what speed cushions are, this section will now inform about the basic speed cushion regulations in the United Kingdom.
Speed cushions are installed according to certain rules and regulations that are made by municipalities and local governments. These regulations must be met during the installation of speed cushions to avoid legal trouble.
Some of the speed cushion regulations are:
- The maximum allowed height of a speed cushion is 80 mm.
- The maximum allowed width of a speed cushion pad is 2,000 mm.
- The maximum length that speed cushions can have is 3700 mm.
- The recommended width of distance or gap between two-speed cushions is 1000 mm to 1200 mm.
- They should not be placed in front of any drainage inlet and driveway.
- Speed cushions should not be installed above manholes.
- They should not be installed in a street whose residents have objections over their installation.
Learn more: Speed cushion regulations.
How can you get a speed cushion in your neighbourhood?
Local municipalities and governments control the installation of speed cushions in the neighbourhood.
If you think that accidents in your area are increasing due to the lack of speed cushions, you must petition the local government to get speed cushions installed.
Before sending this petition, you need to get permission from other area residents related to the speed cushion installation.
You also need to check with the emergency vehicle and transportation vehicle route. Speed cushions should not be placed in areas where they can disturb the movement of large vehicles.
How to buy the right speed cushion?
When buying speed cushions, you should consider different factors to ensure you get the right product. Choosing the wrong product can result in a loss of time and investment. Things that you must consider when buying speed cushions are:
- The material of speed cushions will determine their durability. You should buy a speed cushion of sturdy material to enjoy the investment for many years to come. Choose asphalt or concrete if you are looking for permanent speed cushions, and choose rubber if you want temporary speed cushions.
- Dimensions are another important thing that you need to consider. Choose a size that suits the size of the road they will be installed in.
- The colour should be according to the lighting conditions of the selected area.
- The brand is another factor you need to consider. There are many speed cushion brands. You need to consider the ones that are trusted, reliable and have an active customer support team.
Learn more: How to buy the right speed cushion?
Check speed cushions in different countries
Speed cushions in different countries are used to perform the same function, i.e. control traffic, making drivers travel at a safe speed in high foot traffic areas.
Speed cushions are used in North America even though emergency vehicles in North America have a narrower track width due to the presence of dual tires on either side. This can slow down emergency vehicles; therefore, the local municipality should discuss the matter before installing speed cushions with the emergency vehicle department.
Speed cushions have been installed in different cities in the UK for several years.
Here, emergency vehicles have a wide axle, allowing them to move over speed cushions without reducing their speed.
Learn more: Check speed cushions in different countries.
Speed cushions are effective devices that make roads, streets, and other areas secure for pedestrians and drivers. They prevent unsafe behaviour of vehicle drivers in street parking, roadways, public works zones, and other areas to ensure road safety.
Slow traffic is harmless to pedestrians compared to speeding vehicles. Municipalities install speed cushions to slow traffic and allow walkers to crossroads and move on streets without fear of being hit by a car.
The local government installs speed cushions. If the rate of accidents and deaths due to accidents is increasing in your area, you should send a petition to your local government to install speed cushions and other tools to ensure public safety.