Everything you need to know about speed humps!
Citizens often complain about speeding vehicles on roads and city streets. Although police enforcement can help people follow speed-limit regulations, such enforcement cannot be used regularly due to the limitation of resources. This is where traffic management and traffic control devices come to help.
Traffic data shows that traffic control devices like speed humps, speed bumps, traffic barriers, speed cushions, speed tables, and traffic cones effectively slow down speeding vehicles and protect precious lives.
They are accepted worldwide and used in different areas like school zones, slow zones, work zones or pedestrian zones.
Traffic safety and pedestrian safety tools come in many shapes, designs, colours, and materials. Each tool performs its unique role in creating secure roadways and streets. One of these tools is the road hump often seen on residential streets.
This article talks about road humps in detail. So dig into it to learn more about this beneficial tool.
What exactly is a speed hump?
A road hump is a raised section installed on the road pavement across the travel way. Like speed bumps, it is also often called a “sleeping policeman.” It is typically used in parking lots, city traffic, schools, and high pedestrian areas.
A road hump is available in varying lengths, heights and widths because each problem area has unique needs and requires a specific speed hump. It is available in different materials. Modern road humps are mostly manufactured from recycled plastic and rubber.
A speed hump is often confused with a speed bump, which is another tool used to maintain traffic flow.
However, from an operational point of view, both tools have a different impact on speeding vehicles. While road bumps slow down a vehicle’s speed from 5 to 10 miles per hour (mph), road humps reduce speed from 20 to 30 mph.
They are considered a less aggressive speed control approach compared to speed bumps.
Road humps are often not installed in front of commercial areas like a store or offices as they can cause inconvenience to the high traffic volume on such busy roads.
They are preferably used on high-risk residential streets and local roads where speeding vehicles and accidents are often observed.
Learn more: What exactly is a speed hump?
Pros and cons of traffic calming humps
A number of traffic calming techniques benefit people in many ways, but they still have some disadvantages.
However, their advantages outweigh the disadvantages due to which they are used in different countries despite their cons. Like a reflective speed table, rumble strip, speed ramp, bolted speed cushion, and other road-safety tools, road humps also have both advantages and disadvantages.
Below are some of their popular advantages.
Pros of traffic calming humps
See below details:
- Road humps reduce the speed of vehicles and inform drivers about the speed limit needs. It helps keep roads and streets safe for the public and avoid property damage or loss of lives due to accidents.
- When you use road humps on roads or parking lots, you don’t need law enforcement officials to regulate the speed limit laws of the area because road humps can do that task.
- Some road humps also have cable or hose channels where you can insert cables/hoses to protect them from the damaging effect of heavy vehicles.
- Many road humps have reflective tapes and similar elements that make them prominent even at night. It helps drivers and pedestrians find them when they are within their sight distance.
- They help keep traffic in order and prevent traffic jams that cause time wastage and frustration.
Cons of traffic calming humps
See below details:
- Road humps can damage a vehicle internally when it hits this traffic control tool at high speed. It may also cause a sudden shock to drivers and passengers when they drive over it without knowing its presence.
- People often change their route to avoid streets having road humps; as a result, streets and roads without road humps experience heavy traffic.
- These tools make emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances slow down, which causes emergency-response delays.
Learn more: Pros and cons of traffic calming humps.
Discover different types of speed humps!
All the devices used as traffic calming measures, like stop signs, speed ramps, rumble strips, traffic signals, traffic signs, speed breakers, bollards, wheel stops, etc., are available in the market in different forms.
Their forms differ based on dimensions, material, styles, and quality. People interested in buying a speed hump should first learn about its different types to purchase the right type for their neighbourhood.
Here are the three types of road humps that differ from each other based on their construction material.
Rubber speed hump
Rubber road humps are flexible and compressible compared to plastic and concrete. They get compressed and cause very little damage to tires when they hit them at high speed. Rubber is a durable material that requires very little maintenance. It is lightweight, and only one person can carry and install it.
Recycled plastic speed hump
Recycled plastic road humps are also durable and cause less damage to vehicles than concrete road humps. They are coloured and have reflective tapes to make them highly visible to pedestrians and drivers.
They are light-duty and hence preferred for streets and roads that experience a light to moderate flow of vehicles.
Concrete speed hump
These road humps are made up of very hard and tough concrete. They are not flexible, so they damage vehicles more than other materials.
Concrete road humps are grey and painted yellow or bright to enhance visibility. Their paint may fade and usually develop cracks or pits over time.
Road humps can be used for both temporary and permanent speed control purposes. Concrete road humps are permanent tools, while rubber and plastic can be used temporarily.
Learn more: Discover different types of speed humps!
Speed hump design criteria
Different speed hump manufacturers produce this product in varying designs and dimensions. Some designs and dimensions are suitable for certain areas, while others are not.
Every country has its own speed hump design regulations. You should know these area regulations before purchasing this tool for your roadway.
Speed hump dimension regulations in the UK
Like any other place in the world, the UK also has its own regulations related to the speed hump dimensions. According to the highways speed hump regulations 1999, the length of a speed hump should be at least 900 mm. The height of a speed hump can vary from 25 mm to 100 mm based on your needs.
Road humps cannot be constructed within a pedestrian crossing, marked or unmarked crosswalk, or railway-level crossing. A speed hump should be straight such that its centre meets both sides of the road along a straight imaginary line.
If you are interested in getting a speed hump installed in your area, you must first contact municipalities and send them a request to make your area safe with traffic control tools.
There is a specific procedure for sending this request. This procedure varies from area to area. You need first to learn the procedure of your area and then send a request accordingly.
Your local municipality will examine your area and its speed control needs. If your area meets their criteria, they will only send their professionals to install the tool.
In some areas, the municipality may ask people to pay for the speed hump installation, while others do it independently.
Learn more: Speed hump design criteria.
Speed hump installation
Road humps can be installed through different processes based on the speed hump or the kind of pavement where you install the tool.
If you have a rubber or plastic speed hump, here is what you need to do to install it in your street or roadway.
- Step 1: Gather all the essential equipment, such as a drill, a hammer, bolts, wedge anchors, chalk, a broom and a rubber or plastic speed hump.
- Step 2: Choose a suitable area for the speed hump installation.
- Step 3: Place your speed hump on the ground and mark its holes with chalk.
- Step 4: Remove the speed hump and start creating holes in the pavement with the help of a drilling machine.
- Step 5: Clean the area with a broom until all the dust and debris are gone.
- Step 6: Place the speed humpback in its place
- Step 7: Insert anchor wedges into holes securely with the help of a hammer. And now insert bolts as well.
Congrats, your speed hump is now ready to be used by vehicles. You can also use epoxy adhesives during the installation to add an extra protective layer and stick the speed hump better.
Rubber and plastic road humps are easy to install; that is why you can install them yourself if you know how to use the tools mentioned above. However, you can always hire professionals to do the task for you if you are uncomfortable doing it alone.
These road humps can also be easily removed, which makes them a good choice when you need a temporary speed control solution.
Learn more: Speed hump installation.
Traffic speed hump purchasing guide
Road humps are sold in different forms. All of their forms have varying features which affect their performance. You should know which features or elements to consider when buying a speed hump for your parking lot or street.
Below are some important points you should consider when purchasing this traffic-calming tool.
Road humps are manufactured in different sizes so people can find the perfect piece that goes well with their street size. Some come in the form of segments that you can join together with the help of their interlocking system to increase their length according to your needs.
Whatever size of speed hump you choose, make sure it is according to the speed hump regulations of your area.
Speed hump is manufactured from concrete, asphalt, rubber, plastic, metal, etc. All these materials have unique characteristics, making each material suitable for specific situations.
For instance, rubber and plastic are low-duty, so you should use them in low to moderate-traffic areas. In contrast, concrete is a heavy-duty material, so you can use it in warehouses or other places where heavy vehicles frequently drive over them.
Road humps are manufactured by many companies around the globe. Remember that not all road humps are created equally. Some are of poor quality and lose functionality after some time, while others are highly durable and operate for years.
You should check the reliability and experience of the speed hump manufacturer before you purchase any of their products.
Sino Concept and Traffic Logix are popular speed and hump suppliers. Check their products if you are interested in buying high-quality road humps.
Learn more: Traffic speed hump purchasing guide.
The need to manage high traffic volume and make people follow speed limits in specific areas has increased the use of road humps around a driveway, roadways, sidewalks, and roundabouts. These tools are very effective, and the good thing is you can install them in various places.
Road humps vary in their dimensions, materials, and quality. You need to check the quality and durability of your desired product before investing in it. If you select a plastic or rubber speed hump, you can install it using the above method.
Many drivers lower their speed in advance when they see the speed hump on a roadway. However, some may not see it due to one reason or another.
Therefore, it is better to install warning signs on the sidewalk to make people more aware of their presence. You should also use reflective tape and similar elements to enhance the visibility of your tool.